WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein
It qualifies as a slow day in Bedminster when President Trump is only publicly rooting for The New York Times to go out of business and attacking a U.S. senator as “a phony Vietnam con artist!” The rain may have kept President Trump closer to Twitter, and his new chief of staff may have him toning it down a notch. In any event, ome shreds of truth can be divined from the occasional commentary offered by the president – commentary that figures to intensify in coming days. Simply put, the president (“The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever”) is wrong, while Kellyanne Conway (“His approval rating among Republicans and conservatives and Trump voters is down slightly”) is right. New CNN polling shows Trump’s strong approval among Republicans dipping from 73 percent in February to 59 percent in August. Bashing the media? Shredding a Democratic critic? Speaking to his perceived base means following his own instincts – always something of a comfort zone for this president.
WHILE AWAY FROM WASHINGTON
Away from Washington, with the comfort of some miles separating them from the commander-in-chief, a handful of Republican senators this week are speaking their mind. It’s no fun to be pointed at and blamed for everything going wrong. In fact, it’s “irritating,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a crowd in his home state of Kentucky. It is not surprising that lawmakers would want to stick up for their own work, but McConnell went one step further and said the president and his team were explicitly causing problems and making things more difficult by setting…