President Donald Trump tweeted the following message two nights ago:
If by "meetings and calls" he meant went off on the "24/7 #Fake News" which has besieged him since he entered office, then he might be on to something.
Trump is at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey as part of a planned 17-day vacation while the West Wing's heating and cooling system undergoes a renovation.
The president's statement about his base being "far bigger and stronger than ever before" contradicts remarks made on ABC's "This Week" by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, who admitted that the president has experienced a dip in Republican support. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week places the president's approval rating at a paltry 33 percent.
"It needs to go up," Conway said of the drop. "They are telling him just enact your program. Don’t worry about a Congress that isn’t supporting legislation to get big-ticket items done. And don’t worry about all the distractions and diversions and discouragement that others, who are trying to throw logs in your path, are throwing your way."
As for the "Fake News Russian collusion story": In recent days, The Wall Street Journal reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is escalating the Russia probe, and that he has impaneled a grand jury in the case. Other news outlets corroborated the Journal's report. Trump has come under fire more than once for undermining Mueller's investigation; a grand jury would allow Mueller to subpoena documents, put witnesses under oath and pursue indictments.
For all his talk of the Russia "witch hunt," Trump has also been accused of concocting fake news himself. Last week, a lawsuit filed by former Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler alleged that Ed Butowsky, a wealthy Dallas investor and Trump supporter, collaborated with Fox News under the watchful eye of the White House to concoct a story claiming that Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, was killed in retaliation for leaking information damaging to Hillary Clinton to Wikileaks. Rich was killed on a Washington street in the middle of the night last year. The crime remains unsolved. Fox News published the story on May 16 only to retract it later, saying the story didn’t meet its “standards.”
Wheeler alleges that Trump read the Fox story before publication and gave the green light for the network to falsely quote Wheeler in an article which supported the story’s premise. Reportedly, Butowsky worked in concert with the White House and the network to frame Rich for the leaks and to deflect attention from Mueller's widening probe into the administration's alleged collusion with Russian operatives.
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That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works.