The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump was focused on the long-term health of the economy, claiming the fundamentals were “exceptionally strong,” despite a strong market sell-off. “The president’s focus is on our long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. Since coming to office, Trump has repeatedly touted day-to-day stock market increases as evidence his administration is succeeding.
President Donald Trump has withdrawn his nomination of a climate change sceptic for a top environmental post in his administration. Mr Trump had chosen Kathleen Hartnett White, who once referred to global warming as a “kind of paganism” for “secular elites”, to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. Administration officials told the Washington Post that Ms Hartnett White’s nomination did not have enough momentum and that Senate Republicans were hesitant about her experience.
Donald Trump’s hopes of keeping control of Congress have taken a boost thanks to an opinion poll surge since the turn of the year. The US president’s approval rating has hit 40 per cent – the highest for eight months – while the Democrats’ lead over the Republicans has halved. The improvements are coupled with signs that voters are warming to his tax cut, the biggest legislative win in his first year in office. A growing economy and booming stock market – aside from a sharp drop in recent days – have been credited with driving the change. But how long that can last appeared in doubt on Monday as the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its biggest one-day points drop in history. Democrat lead over Republicans and Trump approval The poll trend has brought the Republicans renewed hope that they can hold the House of Representatives as well as the Senate at the mid-term elections in November. Speaking to Republican congressmen last week, Mr Trump said: “You folks have done well. I just looked at some numbers. You’ve even done better than you thought." Some 40 per cent of Americans now approve of the job he is doing, according to a poll of polls by FiveThirtyEight.com. That is up from around 37 per cent before Christmas. While most US voters still disapprove of his presidency, the last time Mr Trump hit 40 per cent approval before the turn of the year was May 2017. Similarly the Democrats' lead over the Republicans in how people will vote in congressional races has dropped dramatically in the last month. The Democrats held a 13-point lead on Christmas day, according a poll of polls from RealClearPolitics.com, but that is now down to just 6.6 points. It comes despite Mr Trump facing a string of scandals in January, including the publication of the tell-all book Fire and Fury, which painted him in an unflattering light. Mr Trump also faced claims an affair with an ex-porn star had been covered up by his lawyer – he denied the encounter – and a backlash for reportedly criticising immigration from “s*******” countries. Credit for the improving polls has been given to the economic achievements that Mr Trump has been quick to tout since he entered office. The American economy grew at an annual rate of 3.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 – quicker than at any time in the last three years. The US stock market has also hit record highs, though the falls in recent days have dented that achievement. There are signs that Mr Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, which polls suggested was opposed by most people when it passed in December, is now seen more positively from voters. Some recent polls have had as many Americans approving of the tax bill as disapproving – though the results remained mixed. The changes have checked the Democrats' momentum for the mid-terms created by their shock Alabama Senate win just before Christmas. They need to win around 24 seats from the Republicans to gain control of the House of Representatives – a result that still seems possible on the current polls given historic trends. However internal splits between moderates and hardliners about how hard to fight Mr Trump on immigration and other issues continue to rumble on. The Democrats face a harder task in winning back the Senate, despite the Republicans holding just a 51-49 majority, because they have far more senators facing re-election. Donald Trump, the US president Credit: McNamee/Pool via Bloomberg Mr Trump is expected to focus relentlessly on the growing economy and job creation, as he has done over the last year, in the run-up to the mid-terms. In his State of the Union speech last week, Mr Trump spent much of the opening section listing statistics to back up his claim that he has turned the American economy around. Critics say that he inherited a healthy economy from his predecessor, Barack Obama, and that the sharp increases in the stock market have not been matched in real wages.
One of the first women to publicly accuse President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct is running for office. Rachel Crooks, who told the New York Times in 2016 that Mr Trump had kissed her against her will, has announced she will run for state representative in Ohio as a Democrat. “I think my voice should have been heard then, and I’ll still fight for it to be heard now,” Ms Crooks told Cosmopolitan.
Plan to rebuild a small number of historic synagogues backed by high profile Jewish figures
Public Security Minister encourages funding unifying projects instead of BDS, demands cessation of payments to Palestinian Authority.