Trump: “No Collusion with Russia”

Developments on Day 416 of the Trump Administration:

Trump Unsettled Over Report on Russia and Impeachment

Donald Trump’s upbeat mood over a Saturday rally in Pennsylvania disappears quickly, as he faces the latest development in the Russia inquiry closing on him.

Trump enjoyed the comfort of a supportive crowd near Pittsburgh as he whipped them up in a rambling speech which often veered from the facts to insult political opponents and the media, praise death sentences on drug dealers, and claim credit for “saving the Olympics”.

See TrumpWatch, Day 415: Trump Tries to Rally in Pennsylvania

But on Sunday morning Trump faced a Page 1 New York Times story, by Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt, that he met Emmet Flood, who represented President Bill Clinton during the 1998-1999 impeachment process.

The article was based on information from “four people familiar with the matter”, with two saying no final decision has been made about retaining Flood.

Trump railed on Twitter:

As well as venting his fury that the Trump-Russia investigation has not disappeared, Trump fell back on distorted claims about his popularity and “winning”. He wrote, “The Republicans are 5-0 in recent Congressional races” — ignoring the victory by Democrat Doug Jones in last December’s Alabama Senate special election and significant gains in the Democrat vote in the other contests.

Then it was a jab at the Democrats over supposedly blocking approval of his nominees — even though it is the Administration which has failed to fill hundreds of posts — and a focus on one Trump-friendly polling organization to exclude all others:

Trump has recovered since December, aided by the passage of a $1.5 trillion tax change bill, but his average approval rating across opinion polls is only 40.7%, a historic low for a President at this point in his first term.