A new poll from Bloomberg has supplied grist for operatives from both parties: Turns out, people don’t believe what Gov. Chris Christie or Hillary Clinton is saying about the respective scandals that continue to haunt them.
Sixty-three percent of the Bloomberg poll respondents said they don’t believe Christie’s assertion that he knew nothing of the unnecessary traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., that Christie’s staff may have planned as political payback against Fort Lee’s mayor.
And more than half of respondents said they don’t believe Clinton, who says she never saw requests for increased security at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, before the 2012 attack that left four Americans dead.
Republican lawmakers, led by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, continue to pursue Clinton’s involvement in Benghazi like a dog with a bone. But even left-leaning voters doubt Clinton’s story.
“I don’t believe that she did anything recklessly, but I tend to believe that there was something, and it just wasn’t realized at the time that it was significant,” said Lee Proctor, 49, a Democratic-leaning author and online consultant in Philadelphia who wants to see Clinton run. “I don’t think we’ve gotten the whole, true story.”
The Bloomberg poll also found that Clinton’s favorability has declined from 70 percent in December 2012 to 56 percent this month. That number still dwarfs President Obama’s current approval rating — 43 percent. And the credibility numbers could prove more damaging to Christie than to Clinton, who has built up an almost bulletproof national fan base and who is crushing her Republican competition in other speculative polls about 2016.
Nonetheless, Democrat or Republican, at least most Americans agree on one thing: The more politicians try to distance themselves from scandal, the less we’re inclined to believe a damn thing they say.
What We're Following See More »
As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."