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The Journal Gazette

Monday, July 17, 2017 1:00 am

Trump defends allies in tweets

Refers to Clinton's deleted emails

Washington Post

Approval rating drops to 36%

President Donald Trump's standing with the American people has deteriorated since the spring.

Approaching six months in office, Trump's overall approval rating has dropped to 36 percent from 42 percent in April. His disapproval rating has risen five points to 58 percent.

Overall, 48 percent say they “disapprove strongly” of Trump's performance in office, a level never reached by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and reached only in the second term of George W. Bush in Post-ABC polling.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted July 10-13 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults reached on cellular and landline phones.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

– Washington Post

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – President Donald Trump defended his son Donald Trump Jr., contrasting his Russia meeting with Hillary Clinton's deleted emails and accused the media of “DISTORTING DEMOCRACY” in a series of angry statements issued early Sunday.

Tweeting from his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump lashed out at the media for coverage of the disclosure that his oldest son held a meeting last year with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who offered damaging information about Clinton, his campaign opponent.

Trump tweeted, “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?”

Trump was referring to emails Clinton deleted from her private server as secretary of state, as well as to her campaign being provided an early look at a question in a primary debate against Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The debate controversy surfaced only because of an illegal hack of Democratic emails, which U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was orchestrated by Russia, and their subsequent release on Wikileaks.

Trump also thanked a former campaign adviser, Michael Caputo, for his testimony Friday before the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Caputo told reporters he testified in a closed session for nearly four hours and told House investigators, “I had no contact with Russians and I never heard of anyone in the Trump campaign talking with Russians.”

The president tweeted, “Thank you to former campaign adviser Michael Caputo for saying so powerfully that there was no Russian collusion in our winning campaign.”

Caputo worked on the campaign as a communications adviser throughout the primary season but left the team in summer 2016 as the general election got underway. He has long ties to Russia, having lived in the country in the 1990s and working in 2000 as a contractor with the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media to improve Russian President Vladimir Putin's image in the U.S.