After a week of violence and controversial rhetoric, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating plunged four points. According to Bloomberg, 40 percent of respondents approve of Trump’s performance in the White House, down from 44 percent just a week ago, one of the highest water marks of his presidency as concerns the popular metric. The unusually steep decline could signal difficulties ahead for Republicans as the midterm elections approach next week.
Gallup polls Americans across the country each week to determine how people feel about the commander in chief’s job performance. For the week ending on October 28, 40 percent of the 1,500 people surveyed approved. The recent drop is the largest since June 24, when Trump’s approval rating fell from 45 to 41 percent. During that week, news had broken of his administration’s policy of separating attempted border crossers from the children in their care at the United States-Mexico border.
This week, a series of bombing attempts and a shooting at a Pennsylvania synagogue that killed 11 people may have weighed on respondents minds. Some of the Gallup poll was performed prior to the events — and the president’s polarizing response to them.
While President Trump condemned the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue as “pure evil” and denounced anti-semitism, shortly after, he blamed the media for driving the anger which motivated people like the accused gunman, Robert Bowers.
Trump has also responded to the series of bomb mailings by the alleged suspect of such — Cesar Sayoc — by blaming the media for stirring anger. Trump characterized the mainstream media as the “Enemy of the People.”
“The Fake News is doing everything in their power to blame Republicans, Conservatives and me for the division and hatred that has been going on for so long in our Country. Actually, it is their Fake & Dishonest reporting which is causing problems far greater than they understand!” Trump said on Twitter.
“The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” Trump continued on Monday.
There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
....of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, defended his divisive rhetoric — saying that Trump isn’t attacking “all media,” but rather, “the growing amount of fake news that exists in the country.”
When pressed for specifics, Sanders replied that those outlets know who they are.
“I’m not going to walk through a list, but I think those individuals probably know who they are,” she said.
Sanders took issue with reporters characterizing Trump’s words as having something to do with driving the bombings, as well as having contributed to an atmosphere conducive to the attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue last week.
“It’s irresponsible for news organizations like yours to blame responsibility of a pipe bomb that was not sent by the president, not just blame the president, but blame members of his administration for those heinous acts,” she said. “I think that is outrageous.”