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Trump on offensive as Russia revelations seem to take toll

Trump on offensive as Russia revelations seem to take toll


THE NEW YORK TIMES
BEDMINSTER
PRESIDENT Donald Trump unleashed a new fusillade of tweets on Sunday morning, defending his son Donald Trump Jr., slashing the news media and tarring his long-vanquished opponent, Hillary Clinton.
After a leisurely Saturday afternoon spent at a women's golf tournament at his club here, where he waved to the crowd from a glassed-in viewing stand, Trump awoke with a familiar list of grievances.
"HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News media?" he tweeted shortly before 7 a.m. Forty minutes later, he posted,"With all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country."
In between those posts, Trump thanked people who had turned out to cheer him at the US Women's Open, which is being played at Trump National Golf Club despite calls from women's groups for it to be moved because of his record of degrading behavior toward women.
Trump has gone through one of the rockiest stretches of his presidency since the disclosure of a meeting in June 2016 between his son and a Kremlin-linked lawyer.
Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also attended, as did a Russian-American lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin.
The president tweeted his thanks to a former campaign adviser, Michael Caputo,"for saying so powerfully that there was no Russian collusion in our winning campaign."
On Friday, Caputo testified before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee.
He emerged to say that he had witnessed no collusion between the campaign and Russia.
Still, there is evidence that the drumbeat of Russia revelations is taking a toll on the president.
A poll published Sunday showed that Trump's approval ratings have eroded further in recent weeks, dropping to a level never before seen for a president during his first six months in office.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll said the president's overall approval rating was 36 percent, down from 42 percent in April.
His disapproval rating rose to 58 percent, and 48 percent of those polled said they"disapprove strongly" of his performance, citing a loss of U.S. leadership abroad and the Republican health care bill, which remains bottled up in the Senate.

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