Trump threatens to sue CNN for publishing a poll showing his low approval and status behind Biden; CNN swats Trump down like a fly

UPDATE: From Ken, a tweet from Team Trump with their threatening letter:

CNN reports that they’ve been threatened by Trump’s legal counsel for—wait for it—publishing a poll showing that Trump’s approval rating is waning fast among all groups, that Biden is pulling ahead, and that, as expected, Trump’s support is pathetic among blacks and Latinos. Click on the screenshot below for a video and the stats:

These stats would, of course, anger Trump big time (and there are more; watch the video):

 

 

CNN reports some details:

President Donald Trump’s campaign is demanding CNN retract and apologize for a recent poll that showed him well behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The demand, coming in the form of a cease and desist letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker that contained numerous incorrect and misleading claims, was immediately rejected by the network.

In the letter to Zucker, the Trump campaign argued that the CNN poll is “designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling.”

“It’s a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President,” read the letter, signed by the Trump campaign’s senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis and chief operating officer Michael Glassner.

But wait! There’s more!

After CNN released the poll earlier this week, Trump tweeted that he had hired Republican pollster McLaughlin & Associates to “analyze” the survey and others “which I felt were FAKE based on the incredible enthusiasm we are receiving.” McLaughlin ranks as one of the least accurate pollsters in the industry, as measured by FiveThirtyEight.

But several other polls released over the past few weeks — including polls by ABC News/Washington PostMonmouth UniversityNPR/PBS Newshour/Marist CollegeNBC News/Wall Street JournalQuinnipiac University and Fox News — also show Biden well ahead of Trump. These polls, averaged with the CNN poll, find Biden up by double digits, a result well outside any margin of error.

At any rate, we don’t have the letter from Trump’s lawyer, but we do have CNN’s response, signed by David Vigilante, CNN’s executive vice president and general counsel:

Oy, that second paragraph is a stinger, and the whole letter is a stinging rebuke to Trump, who will undoubtedly be incensed even more. (I love the bit: “That’s how free speech works. It’s the American way.”

But can you imagine a President threatening legal action against a news organization for publishing a poll? Well, yes you can, if the President is a narcissistic moron.

My several hundred dollars in bets on Biden are looking pretty good these days.

h/t: Ken

115 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    sub

  2. Beth Purkhiser
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    “Biased questions and skewed sampling” – the very model for Trump’s questionable questionnaires. “Which would you prefer, capitalism, or radical socialism?”

    • harrync
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Here is the poll question: “Suppose that the presidential election were being held today and you had to choose between Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s candidate, and Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s candidate. Who would you be more likely to vote for?” Obviously, the problem is that identifying Trump as a Republican is unfair.

    • Posted June 12, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Even if the poll was a ridiculous push poll or even made up, *suing CNN* is not the answer to those problems.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes, if you are continuing to get more bets on the race, you might also turn these chaps in for evaluation. They probably have had sections of the brain removed.

  4. Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Good, hearty laugh from this one.

    Trump and his minions apparently don’t realize (or care, maybe) how ridiculous they look. And they wonder at the negative results he’s getting!

    Dumb as a rock (though that may be an insult to rocks).

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Don’t realize. Trump is a sociopath. He has no way of telling how people actually look at him because he has no empathy.

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes, I agree. It’s all about him, full stop.

        As David Frum recently (26-May) said on Sam Harris’s podcast: “[the Trump administration] is composed of crooks, fanatics, and incompetents.”

        One good friend of mine, who happens to be a life-long republican (of the Reagan stripe), has recently publicly repudiated the GOP, basically because of Trump and the Trump enablers.

        I never would have thought this possible, before Trump.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Yeah and it’s pretty bad when Frum, pretty much a life long conservative, turns on you too.

          • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            Frum had to take a number and get in line as well. 🙂

          • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            His quote on Biden is good too: Joe Biden, he’ll do.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

              Yeah. I think he said that should be Biden’s slogan.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            Frum’s been a never-Trumper from the get-go. He’s got a pair books about it under his belt — Trumpocracy and Trumpocalypse.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

              Yes, he also voted for Hilary Clinton in the last election.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

                Born and bred in Canuckistan, too!

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

                Yes, his sister is a member of the senate and his mom was a CBC journalist (much beloved too – it was sad she died of cancer fairly young).

              • merilee
                Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

                And mother, Barbara Frum, was very liberal.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

              Given the reputational carnage that the US right will suffer once this cretin is voted out, it looks like the Never Trumpers played the long game in spectacularly successful fashion. They saw the car pile-up on the horizon and hopped out before it happened.

              They will emerge with their professional reputations not just intact but enhanced, and given the political autopsies that will no doubt follow Trump’s ousting* they’ll be well placed to shape a strand of conservatism that – hopefully – isn’t quite so completely insane.

              *obviously, fingers crossed – King-weasel and all that.

              • Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

                I haven’t done a complete analysis but my impression is that the Never Trumpers were always Thinking Conservatives. They took an immediate dislike to Trump and would never has supported him. I doubt if they thought in terms of playing a long game.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                Yes, I’ve been saying from the start that the heroes in this debacle — the profiles in courage, if you will — have been the never-Trumpers.

                It will be interesting to see what center-right phoenix arises from the Republican ashes. One thing for sure: there will be bitter feuds and recriminations that last a lifetime, like the Loyalists vs. the Falangists after the Spanish Civil War.

                I expect that, whatever emerges, it will remain a minority party (numerically speaking) for quite some time. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men won’t be able to put the old GOP coalition back together again.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

                I’ve been expecting the collapse of the Republican Party since thee GW Bush years. So far I’ve been disappointed. The creature should have been dead by now. Maybe this is finally the time when the insanity running rampant among the “base” finally kills it off. Hard to see what comes next.

    • Posted June 12, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Rocks have feelings too – remember panpsychism.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        …And they make good pets.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I love the Venezuela remark as well and I bet it goes right over Trump’s head.

    “Even Venezuela sees it. They are all laughing at us. All laughing at America because of this fake news”.

  6. darrelle
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    As I said somewhere else earlier today, this letter is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Someday I’d like to buy David a drink.

    Many people poo poo this kind of behavior from Trump as trivial, nothing to worry about. Our institutions will protect us. I think such attitudes are sorely misguided. Our institutions are in a shambles. A traitor named Barr who has already demonstrated his willingness to disregard our laws and precedents in service to Trump’s thuggish whims is in charge of the Department of Justice and Trump has been appointing toady judges at a record pace since day 1 of his occupation of the White House.

    Given these realities it is foolish to not take it deadly seriously when the President attempts to use the authority of the Executive and our justice system to silence the press because they publish accurate information about him.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Trump has tried to remake our country in his image.

      We have, at best, a long hangover ahead of us.

      As David Frum recently commented: Congressional subpeonas used to be binding. Now, Trump ignores them, a Trump appointed judge rules that (though they used to be binding) now they are optional.

      This is how Trump (and McConnell, let’s not forget Moscow Mitch) has shredded the institutions of the USA.

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Isn’t their defense of “ignoring” Congressional subpoenas that everyone can dispute something via a legal process and that’s just what they’re doing. They simply dispute everything in court and drag it out so long that it doesn’t matter. It’s a loophole but a legal one. It’s Trump saying to the rest of the country, “Here’s your freedom for you.”

        Closing this loophole is going to be very hard. Speeding up judicial calendars would help but I don’t see that happening. The ability to dispute everything via a legal process shouldn’t be tampered with. As I see it, we just have to elect people who haven’t spent their whole lives gaming the system.

        • Posted June 13, 2020 at 12:27 am | Permalink

          It’s been a useful tactic for tRump for most of his life. Seems to mostly work.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        It is entirely possible that I despise Mitch F!@#$%& McConnell more than I do Trump. I tend to lean towards Mitch. Trump seems to be mentally incompetent while Mitch is calculated evil.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          I agree. I can actually drum up a bit of sympathy for tRump and his unfortunate family. His mental illness is not of his own doing. Mitch, on the other hand, is just a hard-boiled gangster. If he wasn’t despoiling the country at the behest of corporations, he’d be selling worthless stock, famous bridges, or used cars with only days left on the odometer. Or selling secrets to Putin.

          • merilee
            Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            Not to forget swampland in Florida…

            • rickflick
              Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

              …and swampland in Florida.

          • boudiccadylis
            Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            Precisely.

          • Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Right, because Trump couldn’t have done otherwise. Hah! I still blame Trump and I hope we can prove he committed crimes for which Biden won’t pardon him.

            • rickflick
              Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

              I’d like nothing better than to see him in an orange jumpsuit. He’d blend right in.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Let’s say Biden wins: what happens then, given how much of the American governmental infrastructure has been hollowed and then filled with Trump loyalists? Can he just sack them all and replace them with reasonable choices? What about the DOJ for example, and Bill Barr? Can he immediately fire him, or would there be blowback there?

      I suspect that even if I was American I wouldn’t know the answer to these questions – I’m genuinely interested. Trump seems to have done so much damage, just ripping out the guts of so many crucial organisations and filling them with sawdust. What can Biden do about that?

      I suppose anyone that was appointed by Trump can presumably be demoted by Biden, but it’s never as simple as that…

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        The short answer is “yes”. Biden can get rid of all Trump’s cronies in an instant. In fact, that usually happens with every changing of the guard. I suspect the challenges to the Biden transition will be that Trump’s administration won’t cooperate with it and, even if they did, would be useless anyway. I believe Obama had nothing but good to say about how Bush handled the transition. I suspect Biden’s experience will be the opposite.

        Another challenge for Biden will be filling rank and file positions in the many departments that Trump gutted, particularly the State Dept. The good people were pushed out and, presumably, have new jobs. On the other hand, there are probably a lot of people eager to help fix the devastation that Trump wrought. It could turn out to be an age of rebuilding. I for one look forward to the long-promised infrastructure week. 😉

      • Filippo
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        “What about the DOJ for example, and Bill Barr? Can he immediately fire him, or would there be blowback there?”

        From Wikipedia:
        “Members of the Cabinet (except for the vice president) are appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate; once confirmed, they serve at the pleasure of the president, who can dismiss them at any time without the approval of the Senate . . . .”

      • darrelle
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        I’m no expert, perhaps Ken can chime in.

        I think that there is legal precedent for a president being able to fire the attorney general but that it’s never happened before. Though some have been pressured out or asked to resign.

        Yeah, it’s complicated. The constitution gives POTUS the authority to appoint a wide range of “Officers of the United States” from ambassadors to judges, “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” That’s pretty clear.

        What’s a lot less clear is how to get rid of them. That’s not really addressed in the Constitution. One might assume that if POTUS can appoint them with Senate approval then perhaps it was intended that they could be fired in the same way. But the Constitution doesn’t clearly say that and I don’t think that interpretation has been assumed to be a given throughout our history. It would certainly suck for Biden unless the Republicans also lost the Senate.

        But there’s all kinds of laws and precedents since the Constitution that pertain to the if, who can, and how of getting rid of the various and numerous Officers of the US. But I’m quite ignorant of them.

        • darrelle
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Well, looks like Paul and Filippo are better informed than I, and the news is actually good.

          • Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            No!!!!! The Republicans have stacked the courts at all levels with lifetime appintments, and the courts are the final arbiters of all our laws. The US is screwed for a generation, at best.

            • Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

              There is that but there’s no real reason to believe that they have the same mental diseases that Trump has. Since they have lifetime appointments, they won’t see their future tied to Trump. In fact, they may see advantage in distancing themselves from Trump and his ideas as Trump will not be favored by history. I believe there have been studies made of how so-called partisan judges rule and they have little connection to who appointed them. (I wish I had a reference.)

        • Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Surely Trump has supplied sufficient precedent for getting rid of people that Biden will have no problem replacing whoever he wants. If the GOP holds onto the Senate and blocks appointments, he can just pick good temporary replacements. I suspect there are still good people in Justice and intelligence departments, they just don’t run things right now.

          • Posted June 12, 2020 at 4:21 am | Permalink

            Biden will have no problem replacing whoever he wants.

            Unless Mitch McConnell still controls the Senate.

            • Posted June 12, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

              Right, that would be bad but, as I said, Biden can always make do with temporary appointments, at least for a while.

              • rickflick
                Posted June 12, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

                With all the flexibility garnered over time in the White House, maybe temps can stay for the duration. No approvals by Senate needed. Who needs rules anymore?

              • Posted June 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

                I’m definitely in favor of rules and things operating properly. That said, it does seem like we want the government to operate even if Congress doesn’t do its job. If the rules are changed to eliminate the temps, then Congress would then have the power to shut down the Executive.

                Trump has shown us that government doesn’t work without reasonably competent people with good motivations running it. New laws aren’t really going to change that.

              • rickflick
                Posted June 12, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

                True. A law is a place loopholes breed.

              • Posted June 12, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

                Actually, I am not even talking about loopholes. They can be patched.

                Trump has often gotten away with things simply by challenging them legally or forcing others to challenge him. While this seems unfair, do we really want to deprive future Presidents of the right to disagree with other branches and fight it out in court? There are a bunch of things a president can do for which removal from office is the only remedy and that’s something that we probably shouldn’t fix, except in small ways and very carefully.

              • rickflick
                Posted June 12, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

                The founders wanted to create a balance of power. They probably knew it would lead to deadlock.
                As a simple/partial solution, how about if a POTUS could impeach and convict himself by telling over 1000 lies inside a single term? Anyhow, it would please me. 😎

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Every new president routinely appoints an entirely new cabinet, including the Attorney General (as the head of the Justice Department), upon taking office.

        In all, every new president makes roughly 4,000 new appointments throughout the federal government, approximately 1,200 of which require confirmation by the US senate.

        This covers essentially everyone in the upper echelons of the federal bureaucracy save “career people” and those subject to civil-service protection — or, as these latter groups are known in the bizaro-speak of Trumpworld, “the Deep State.” 🙂

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Masha Gessen: “Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.” source

      Gessen is an expert on Russia, which I think colors her views. But still, like darrelle, I am nervous.

  7. Jimbo
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh how this brings me joy. Imagine the orange tears streaking down Trump’s cheeks and the accelerating tempo of his foot stomping in the Oval Office when the fourth article of the Constitution, where he swore on the Bible to defend, is read back to him.

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Actually Trump’s only poll he watches is the stock market and it had been doing pretty good lately. So the CNN polling must be wrong. However, today the market crashed again, probably because it realized there was no justification for where it was.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Huge down day on the stockmarket today, though.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, over 6 percent. But the question is, why was it back up so much? Made no sense.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          It rarely makes sense to me.

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            I’ve tried twice to comment but my posts go into the ether. I’ll try again and just be brief: algorithmic trading is what’s going on.

        • Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          There are several reasons for it to go up. First, the relatively low prices are a huge enticement to buy. Second, the recent layoffs are helpful to many businesses as it lets them get rid of people under cover of COVID-19 making them leaner and meaner. Third, it’s a time of great change in information technology (eg, the move to online education), energy (consumption of fossil fuels as dipped hugely, giving a boost to green energy), and food production and distribution (people are going to be eating at home for a while, delivery is huge). In a time of great change, investors are looking for winners.

          Today’s big drop can be explained simply as the inevitable profit-taking after a week of gains, though the media seem to be blaming it on the increased likelihood of a second wave of COVID-19.

  9. Historian
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    The CNN letter: Vigilante justice!😊

    • enl
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Beat me to it… Darn.

      How about Vigilante justice against President Snowflake Thinskin?

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Bam! 🙂

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been trying to float Emperor Coronavirus von Tinyhands. My gift from the UK to you all.

        • enl
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Snowflake von Tinyhands-Thinskin?

  10. Mark R.
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s time Trump et al should heed the advice of Will Rogers:

    “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

    But fortunately for America, he’ll keep digging deeper and deeper. Good f’n riddance.

  11. Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it’s all this negative publicity which makes him look like he’s about to cry on his official website: 2020-standing-with-president-trump

  12. Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s as if Trump is unaware of the Streisand Effect. That said, I believe that because he’s willing to lie and cheat to get what he wants, he believes others do too. Of course, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that left-leaning people at CNN present polls that favor Biden with extra vigor and delight. Still, Trump would have to come with serious proof to make that claim worthwhile and to overcome the Streisand Effect. As usual, he has nothing.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      He thinks he is merely being clever. He’s playing the game and winning. It’s how all sociopaths operate – tell me the rules of the game and I’ll see how I can win it.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Trump is reported to tell his playing partners in golf tournaments that, since he expects their opponents to cheat, he expects his partner to cheat just as Trump himself plans to cheat. That comes from a one-time playing partner of Trump’s, Bryan Marsal, a longtime respected member of the golfing establishment and chairman of the 2020 Men’s US Open.

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Not surprising at all.

      • alexander
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Just curious. How do you cheat in golf? You push the ball into its hole when nobody looks?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          The ways are many, but one is to kick the ball toward the green or out of the rough onto the fairway when you think your opponent isn’t watching.

          At the famed Winged Foot Country Club where he was once a member, Trump pulled this stunt so often that the caddies took to calling him “Pelé,” after the Brazilian soccer star.

          • Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Rick Reilly’s “Commander in Cheat” sums up Trump’s game. Reilly also says that Trump’s golf cheating pretty much explains his cheating in all aspects of his life.

            • sugould
              Posted June 12, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

              But doesn’t his clubhouse have Time magazine featuring him man of the year? (I mean, who would fake that, right? :D)

              • Posted June 12, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

                I think he has even groused about Time actually passing on naming him Man of the Year.

          • darrelle
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            Shit. I wish I hadn’t read this. I’m in despair to learn that I share something in common with Trump. I too was once nicknamed Pelé. Though in my case it was meant to be complimentary.

        • Posted June 12, 2020 at 4:26 am | Permalink

          I recommend you read the account of James Bond’s game of golf against Goldfinger.

  13. Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    It must be all these negative polls that make him look like he’s about to bawl on his official re-election website. 2020-standing-with-president-trump

  14. merilee
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  15. Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Agent Orange has devolved into a pathetic caricature. Soon enough he’ll become irrelevant, a mere footnote in the history books.

    • sugould
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      As much wholesale destruction that he’s caused, he will be legendary. How many books will be written about him? Doesn’t matter if the press is good or bad: he will be remembered.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure he loves this.

  16. Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Historic polls have have not been reliable predictors of electoral success. Hopefully these latest polls will be vindicated with a Trumpian exit forever and a day.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, things can all go haywire at the last second.

  17. Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    test

  18. Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Yes it’s early in the run to November, but let’s not get too enamored with polls. We must get out the vote to banish Trump and his ass kissers from the White House, Senate, House, governorship, and down the line. In 2018, the Republicans did not win a single statewide contest in Colorado, and we need to work for the same in 2020.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Drain the swamp.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know if I’m “enamored” but I do think drawing attention to these polls is helpful to the cause of getting rid of Trump. Public opinion does metastasize and grow organically. The more soft Trump 2016 voters perceive people around them giving up on Trump, the more they will want to join them. It is hugely helpful to the cause that all these military guys are coming out against Trump as they represent an institution that still garners respect in the USA, especially with Trump supporters. I don’t see any way Trump can increase his support in the few months he has left. He’s going to grow increasingly desperate, which is scary.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        In ‘How Democracies Die’, the writers talk about how crucial approval ratings are in determining whether a leader will get away with enforcing a transition to authoritarianism and away from democracy.

        They need to have significantly higher ratings than Trump at the moment, which is reassuring. That doesn’t mean he won’t try though, it just means he’s less likely to succeed if he does.

        • Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          I’m guessing “Don’t piss off the generals.” is Rule #1 in the transition to authoritarianism. Trump has failed in that regard. If there ever was a point where the military hadto choose between allegiance to Trump and the Constitution, they seem a lot less likely to go with Trump now than they did a year ago. On the other hand, our Constitution and other laws have so many gaps in them that Trump, with Barr’s help, will find any that he can exploit. People are looking into what authority Trump used to bring in National Guard troops from multiple states to police around the White House. Turns out that there’s a law that few knew about probably allows him to do it. It may not be what Congress wanted but, by the time they figure that out, it’s all over.

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, there can be some positive effects of polling, but I worry about a repeat of 2016 when polling played a role in Clinton’s defeat. WaPo and others keep writing about The End of Trump’s Presidency, but I don’t believe that for a moment. I won’t rest easy until an presidential winner has been officially declared this November.

        • Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I worry about that too. However, our attitude of not wanting to rest until Trump is completely gone is shared by many. I doubt many will take Biden’s win for granted as 2016 is still fresh in our minds and Trump is bad, really bad.

      • Posted June 12, 2020 at 4:32 am | Permalink

        Also, if Republican politicians sense Trump is dragging them down, they may start distancing themselves from him, which, in turn, will hopefully start eroding his support amongst Republicans.

        • Posted June 12, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Yes, I think that has gradually been happening since the 2018 midterm elections when some GOP candidates distanced themselves from Trump in order to remain attractive in mixed red/blue districts. Recent events and the approaching election have accelerated that process.

  19. JohnE
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    If I had written the letter for CNN, this would have been my first paragraph:

    “Upon reading your letter, my first instinct was to check my calendar to confirm that it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. I’m sure you can understand how any rational person would presume that a letter written on behalf of President Trump, complaining that someone else said something inaccurate or misleading, simply HAD to be some sort of prank. I mean, who could possibly imagine such a complaint being earnestly asserted by a man who has told over 19,000 (19,000!) confirmed lies since he took office! Only after I had wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes and caught my breath did it dawn on me that you might actually be serious (or perhaps more accurately, that you were pretending to be serious).”

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      The ne plus ultra of the response-to-the-ridiculous-demand-letter genre is generally considered to be this:

      • jezgrove
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        In the UK, the equivalent is Private Eye‘s case Arkell vs Pressdram. From Wikipedia: “Arkell’s lawyers wrote a letter which concluded: ‘His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply.’ Private Eye responded: ‘We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell’s attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.'”

      • Posted June 12, 2020 at 4:44 am | Permalink

        LOL

  20. Milton Zmijewski
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    The poll just shows how stupid white people are.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it’s innate to white people. Any tribal majority, given this kind of dogwhistling, self-interested, pandering arsehole to vote for, would make a similarly stupid, selfish choice. The evidence can be found by looking…pretty much anywhere in the world.

  21. Paul S
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Team trump tweeted the full letter thinking it would make them look better?
    I have no words.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      To there base, it will. Though this sort of own-goaling probably will tend to shrink that base to the core of strongly deluded and deplorables that have always been a significant percentage of his supporters.

  22. Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The orange baby is acting up again. There was an analysis making the rounds that Trump now has a 20% chance of winning the election. That is still too high, imo.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      My book says 50-50 🙂 mainly because it’s again going to come down to just a few key states.

  23. merilee
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Testing…GBJames, maybe the change you suggested finally works!

  24. Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    As one might imagine, there are a bunch of articles on what a Biden administration might look like. I think they all mention Sally Yates as a good choice for Attorney General:

    The Advantage of a Biden Shadow Cabinet
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/05/why-joe-biden-should-name-cabinet-now/612163/

    Who’s on Your Biden Dream Team?

    Joe Biden’s secret governing plan
    https://www.axios.com/joe-biden-cabinet-vice-president-picks-b17882ac-3953-450f-8afb-38a3c8dcda57.html

  25. Taz
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    This is just Trump pushing one of his two basic messages: “the MSM are all liars who hate America”.

    The other is: “liberals are all socialists who hate America”.

  26. Laurian Weisser
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    The better reply from CNN

    I feel that you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters.

  27. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Worst US President Ever™.

  28. frednotfaith2
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m saddened to have just read that his reeking vileness, tRump will be coming to my city, Jacksonville, FL, for the Repugnican convention, to be held at a stadium about two miles from my house. My stepsister and her husband, who live in Tampa, adore tRump, expressing their love for him at an Xmas eve party I attended last year. I’ve been going to their annual shindig for over a decade, mainly because my dad lives in that area too and go together when I visit with him. He’s not too keen on tRump himself. This year, I’ll likely skip their party to spend time with some of my far more rational and atheist friends over here — yeah, we’re a minority in Jax, but we’ve had a freethought society since 1998 and I’ve met many great people through the society.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Did Gov. Ron DeSantis seal the deal by agreeing to massage Trump’s prostate on live teevee?

      • rickflick
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        How exactly would one access the prostate of POTUS on national TV? …oh, never mind, I know.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      “spend time with some of my far more rational and atheist friends”

      Well, that sounds like a good move.


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