Donald Trump: ‘I Don’t Like Tweeting’

Posted on: January 18th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Despite appearances to the contrary, President-elect Donald Trump says he isn’t a fan of tweeting.

In an interview with Fox News slated to air Wednesday, Trump said he uses Twitter to defend himself against the “dishonest media.”

“Look, I don’t like tweeting,” Trump told Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt. “I have other things I could be doing. But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. It’s my only way that I can counteract.”

He continued: “When people misrepresent me — because the press is very dishonest, unbelievably dishonest … When people misrepresent me, I have at least a way of saying it’s a false statement. If the press were honest, which is not, I would absolutely not use Twitter. I wouldn’t have to.”

Trump also addressed criticism about the lack of A-list celebrities participating in inauguration events.

“Many of the celebrities that are saying they’re not going, they were never invited,” he said. “I don’t want the celebrities, I want the people, and we have the biggest celebrities in the world there.”

Turning to Obamacare, the president-elect promised that his team will come up with an affordable alternative. “We’re going to have a plan that’s going to be great for people,” he said. “And it’s going to be much less expensive. And you will be able to actually have something to say about who your doctor is and your plan.”

Trump added: “Nobody is going to be dying on the streets with a President Trump. We want to take care of everybody.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Donald Trump: ‘I Don’t Like Tweeting’

Posted on: January 18th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Despite appearances to the contrary, President-elect Donald Trump says he isn’t a fan of tweeting.

In an interview with Fox News slated to air Wednesday, Trump said he uses Twitter to defend himself against the “dishonest media.”

“Look, I don’t like tweeting,” Trump told Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt. “I have other things I could be doing. But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. It’s my only way that I can counteract.”

He continued: “When people misrepresent me — because the press is very dishonest, unbelievably dishonest … When people misrepresent me, I have at least a way of saying it’s a false statement. If the press were honest, which is not, I would absolutely not use Twitter. I wouldn’t have to.”

Trump also addressed criticism about the lack of A-list celebrities participating in inauguration events.

“Many of the celebrities that are saying they’re not going, they were never invited,” he said. “I don’t want the celebrities, I want the people, and we have the biggest celebrities in the world there.”

Turning to Obamacare, the president-elect promised that his team will come up with an affordable alternative. “We’re going to have a plan that’s going to be great for people,” he said. “And it’s going to be much less expensive. And you will be able to actually have something to say about who your doctor is and your plan.”

Trump added: “Nobody is going to be dying on the streets with a President Trump. We want to take care of everybody.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s 35-Year Sentence

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Obama granted a commutation to Chelsea Manning, a former soldier who was convicted of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 and she will now be released in May.

Chase Strangio, Chelsea Manning’s attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, confirms the commutation to ABC News.

Manning’s commutation comes on one of Obama’s final days in office. He has issued a total of 1,385 commutations and 212 pardons.

Manning, a transgender former soldier, is being held at Fort Leavenworth and reportedly tried to commit suicide twice in the last year.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s 35-Year Sentence

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Obama granted a commutation to Chelsea Manning, a former soldier who was convicted of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 and she will now be released in May.

Chase Strangio, Chelsea Manning’s attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, confirms the commutation to ABC News.

Manning’s commutation comes on one of Obama’s final days in office. He has issued a total of 1,385 commutations and 212 pardons.

Manning, a transgender former soldier, is being held at Fort Leavenworth and reportedly tried to commit suicide twice in the last year.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

More Than 50 Democratic Congress Members Planning to Skip Inauguration

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — More than 50 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s Friday inauguration. While some of the 53 made their decision in previous weeks, several more have come forward in recent days, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon Saturday morning after Lewis said in a Friday interview he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning of Lewis’ Atlanta-area district. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., said in a tweet Saturday that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted Saturday they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis, making them part of the more than one-quarter of all House Democrats who plan to skip the ceremony.

Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., wrote in a statement released Saturday that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

“Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

“I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

Several more representatives announced their absence at the inauguration on Martin Luther King Day, again referencing Lewis.

“President-elect Trump, you have the undeniable right to take issue and disagree with John Lewis’ opinion about the legitimacy of the election results,” Rep. Anthony Brown, a Democrat from Maryland, wrote on Facebook Monday. “But Mr. Trump, you need to think carefully about disparaging a Civil Rights icon such as John Lewis, let alone anyone exercising their freedom of expression that many of us fought for.”

Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., and John Conyers, D-Mich., did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements Saturday but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

Among those who decided earlier this month not to attend the inauguration, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

“When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in part in a speech on the House floor Jan. 10. “Because the future president said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said on Twitter on Jan. 5 she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will participate in community organizing in their home districts.

The Trump transition team did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Below is the full running list of Congress members who are planning not to attend the inauguration:

  •     Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-AZ
  •     Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
  •     Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
  •     Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
  •     Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
  •     Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
  •     Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
  •     Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
  •     Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
  •     Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
  •     Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA
  •     Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA
  •     Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-CA
  •     Rep. Juan Vargas, D-CA
  •     Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-CA
  •     Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-CA
  •     Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-CA
  •     Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
  •     Rep. Darren Soto, D-FL
  •     Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-FL
  •     Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
  •     Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
  •     Rep. John Yarmuth, D-KY
  •     Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
  •     Rep. Anthony Brown, D-MD
  •     Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-ME
  •     Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
  •     Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN
  •     Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
  •     Rep. Alma Adams, D-NC
  •     Rep. GK Butterfield, D-NC
  •     Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH
  •     Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
  •     Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
  •     Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
  •     Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
  •     Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
  •     Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
  •     Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
  •     Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
  •     Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
  •     Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
  •     Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA
  •     Rep. Mike Doyle, D-PA
  •     Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-PA
  •     Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN
  •     Rep. Al Green, D-TX
  •     Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-TX
  •     Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-TX
  •     Rep. Don Beyer, D-VA
  •     Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
  •     Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
  •     Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI

    Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

    More Than 50 Democratic Congress Members Planning to Skip Inauguration

    Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

    iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — More than 50 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s Friday inauguration. While some of the 53 made their decision in previous weeks, several more have come forward in recent days, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

    Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon Saturday morning after Lewis said in a Friday interview he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

    “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning of Lewis’ Atlanta-area district. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

    Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., said in a tweet Saturday that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

    Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted Saturday they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis, making them part of the more than one-quarter of all House Democrats who plan to skip the ceremony.

    Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., wrote in a statement released Saturday that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

    “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

    Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

    “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

    Several more representatives announced their absence at the inauguration on Martin Luther King Day, again referencing Lewis.

    “President-elect Trump, you have the undeniable right to take issue and disagree with John Lewis’ opinion about the legitimacy of the election results,” Rep. Anthony Brown, a Democrat from Maryland, wrote on Facebook Monday. “But Mr. Trump, you need to think carefully about disparaging a Civil Rights icon such as John Lewis, let alone anyone exercising their freedom of expression that many of us fought for.”

    Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., and John Conyers, D-Mich., did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements Saturday but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

    Among those who decided earlier this month not to attend the inauguration, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

    “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in part in a speech on the House floor Jan. 10. “Because the future president said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

    Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said on Twitter on Jan. 5 she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

    Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will participate in community organizing in their home districts.

    The Trump transition team did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

    Below is the full running list of Congress members who are planning not to attend the inauguration:

    •     Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-AZ
    •     Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
    •     Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
    •     Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
    •     Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
    •     Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
    •     Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
    •     Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
    •     Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
    •     Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
    •     Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA
    •     Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA
    •     Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-CA
    •     Rep. Juan Vargas, D-CA
    •     Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-CA
    •     Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-CA
    •     Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-CA
    •     Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
    •     Rep. Darren Soto, D-FL
    •     Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-FL
    •     Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
    •     Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
    •     Rep. John Yarmuth, D-KY
    •     Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
    •     Rep. Anthony Brown, D-MD
    •     Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-ME
    •     Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
    •     Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN
    •     Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
    •     Rep. Alma Adams, D-NC
    •     Rep. GK Butterfield, D-NC
    •     Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH
    •     Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
    •     Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
    •     Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
    •     Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
    •     Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
    •     Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
    •     Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
    •     Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
    •     Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
    •     Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
    •     Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA
    •     Rep. Mike Doyle, D-PA
    •     Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-PA
    •     Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN
    •     Rep. Al Green, D-TX
    •     Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-TX
    •     Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-TX
    •     Rep. Don Beyer, D-VA
    •     Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
    •     Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
    •     Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      POLL: Trump Remains Unpopular, with the Presidency in Hand

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      ABC News(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump enters office as the most unpopular of at least the last seven newly elected presidents, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds, with ratings for handling the transition that are also vastly below those of his predecessors.

      Forty percent of Americans in the national survey approve of the way Trump has handled the transition, half as many as the 80 percent who approved of Barack Obama’s preparations to take office. Trump also far trails George W. Bush (72 percent transition approval), Bill Clinton (81 percent) and George H.W. Bush (82 percent) on this measure.

      Similarly, just 40 percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, approve of most of Trump’s cabinet choices — trailing his four predecessors by anywhere from 19 to 26 percentage points.

      Identical to these ratings, just 40 percent see Trump favorably overall. That’s 21 points behind Obama’s departing favorability rating (his best since November 2009) and by far the lowest popularity for an incoming president in polling since 1977. Previous start-of-presidency favorability ratings have ranged from 56 percent for George W. Bush to 79 percent for Obama.

      Consider the flipside: Just 9 to 20 percent saw Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or Obama unfavorably as they took office. It was 36 percent for George W. Bush. It’s 54 percent for Trump.

      Expectations

      Even with those weak ratings, Trump garners high expectations on some issues: Six in 10 Americans expect him to do an excellent or good job on the economy and on jobs alike, and 56 percent expect him to do well in handling terrorism.

      On the economy, Trump may get tailwinds: Fifty-one percent say it’s in excellent or good shape, the most since October 2006 in ABC/Post polls. Even still, 63 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track — a view on which Democrats and Republicans have essentially swapped positions since the election, with the biggest change for the party that won the White House.

      Positive expectations for Trump drop to around 50 percent on three other issues — helping the middle class, handling the deficit and making Supreme Court appointments. Expectations go negative on four more — handling health care, international crises, race relations and issues of particular concern to women. Expectations of Trump are more negative than positive by 24 points on women’s issues, 37-61 percent, and by 17 points on race relations, 40-57 percent.

      Skeptics/Issues

      More generally, skepticism about Trump is extensive: Sixty-one percent of Americans lack confidence in him to make the right decisions for the country’s future. Obama was rated as poorly on this measure in the midst of his second term. But he started his presidency with the opposite result — 61 percent confidence.

      Fifty-two percent also see Trump as unqualified for office. Still, in a positive trend for him, that’s down from a peak of 64 percent in June.

      Results are informed by opposition to many of the incoming administration’s policy plans. Out of eight such policies tested in this survey, majorities support three: Deporting undocumented immigrants who’ve committed crimes (most popular by far, with 72 percent support), renegotiating the NAFTA trade agreement (57 percent) and punishing companies that move jobs overseas (53 percent).

      Support goes below 50 percent for repealing Obamacare (a split, 46-47 percent, support-oppose), building a wall on the border with Mexico (37 percent support), withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran (37 percent), barring entry to most Muslims who aren’t U.S. citizens (32 percent), and quitting the Paris climate treaty (31 percent). (On Obamacare, two-thirds of those who favor repeal say the law should be replaced with a new one at the same time.)

      It’s notable that large majorities oppose two proposals that have been signatures of Trump’s political rise — barring entry of non-U.S. Muslims (63 percent opposed) and building a wall across the border with Mexico (opposed by 60 percent).

      Opposition peaks, at 66 percent, to another idea, providing tax breaks for privately funded roads, bridges and transportation projects that would then charge tolls for people who use them.

      Another likely policy debate may pose its own risks for Trump. He’s proposed an across-the-board tax cut. Seventy-five percent in this survey support a tax cut for middle- and low-income Americans, but support falls to 48 percent for a business tax cut and just 36 percent for cutting taxes paid by higher-income Americans.

      Others

      Among other issues:

      • Just 35 percent approve of the way Trump’s handled the issue of campaign email hacking, while 54 percent disapprove. Nearly two-thirds think Russia was behind it, and among them, seven in 10 think Russia’s goal was to help Trump win the election. Forty-three percent see Trump as “too friendly” toward Russia; about as many say he’s handling this well.

      • Neither the media nor Trump are well rated in their handling of one another, but Trump fares considerably less well. Americans divide essentially evenly on whether the news media are treating Trump fairly or unfairly. But they see Trump’s treatment of the news media as unfair rather than fair by a substantial 57-38 percent margin.

      Groups

      Evaluations of Trump’s proposed policies and expectations for his presidency vary widely, with no division more prominent than the one between political partisans.

      One of the largest rifts by party emerges on Trump’s planned wall along the Mexican border: Seventy-two percent of Republicans support it, most saying they do so strongly, while 87 percent of Democrats are opposed, nearly three-quarters strongly. Partisans split similarly on repealing the Affordable Care Act, with eight in 10 Republicans in favor and three-quarters of Democrats against.

      In terms of expectations, nearly all Republicans expect Trump to do an excellent or good job handling the economy and job creation alike, while fewer than three in 10 Democrats say the same. Democrats are the least optimistic about Trump’s potential handling of the health care system, with just 9 percent giving him at least a “good” prospective rating. That compares with 87 percent of Republicans.

      Not all of Trump’s plans are welcomed as universally by GOP partisans: Fewer than half of Republicans support the public-private infrastructure plan proposed by his advisers or his previous intention to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. (He’s now said he has an “open mind” about the deal.) For their part, fewer than a quarter of Democrats support either.

      Some divisions echo the election. White men without college degrees, a strongly pro-Trump group, support repealing the 2010 health care law by 65-27 percent, while white women with a college degree — who narrowly backed Clinton — mirror them in opposition, 35-63 percent. The pattern repeats in expectations for Trump’s handling of race relations; nearly two-thirds of non-college white men have high expectations, while as many college-educated white women have low ones.

      Race itself is a key factor: Compared with whites, nonwhites are 36 points less likely to expect much from Trump in job creation and 30 points less likely to think he’ll do well on race relations. And while support for building the Mexican border wall has increased among whites from 42 to 50 percent since September, it remains extremely unpopular among Hispanics, with just 11 percent support.

      There’ll be much measurement of Trump’s job approval in the years ahead, and the best stand-in for that gauge now is approval of his handling of the transition. This peaks at 77 percent among Republicans, 68 percent among strong conservatives and 61 percent among evangelical white Protestants. But it’s just 45 percent in the states Trump won in the presidential election, as well as 42 percent among political independents, with 50 percent disapproving.

      Further, whites, a group Trump won by a 20 points in the election (per the exit poll), approve of his work on the transition by a 10-point margin, 52 to 42 percent. That ranges from 64 percent approval among non-college white men to 36 percent among college-educated white women. Seventy-five percent of nonwhites disapprove, including 85 percent of blacks and 76 percent of Hispanics.

      Methodology

      This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 12-15, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-37 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

      The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      POLL: Trump Remains Unpopular, with the Presidency in Hand

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      ABC News(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump enters office as the most unpopular of at least the last seven newly elected presidents, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds, with ratings for handling the transition that are also vastly below those of his predecessors.

      Forty percent of Americans in the national survey approve of the way Trump has handled the transition, half as many as the 80 percent who approved of Barack Obama’s preparations to take office. Trump also far trails George W. Bush (72 percent transition approval), Bill Clinton (81 percent) and George H.W. Bush (82 percent) on this measure.

      Similarly, just 40 percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, approve of most of Trump’s cabinet choices — trailing his four predecessors by anywhere from 19 to 26 percentage points.

      Identical to these ratings, just 40 percent see Trump favorably overall. That’s 21 points behind Obama’s departing favorability rating (his best since November 2009) and by far the lowest popularity for an incoming president in polling since 1977. Previous start-of-presidency favorability ratings have ranged from 56 percent for George W. Bush to 79 percent for Obama.

      Consider the flipside: Just 9 to 20 percent saw Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or Obama unfavorably as they took office. It was 36 percent for George W. Bush. It’s 54 percent for Trump.

      Expectations

      Even with those weak ratings, Trump garners high expectations on some issues: Six in 10 Americans expect him to do an excellent or good job on the economy and on jobs alike, and 56 percent expect him to do well in handling terrorism.

      On the economy, Trump may get tailwinds: Fifty-one percent say it’s in excellent or good shape, the most since October 2006 in ABC/Post polls. Even still, 63 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track — a view on which Democrats and Republicans have essentially swapped positions since the election, with the biggest change for the party that won the White House.

      Positive expectations for Trump drop to around 50 percent on three other issues — helping the middle class, handling the deficit and making Supreme Court appointments. Expectations go negative on four more — handling health care, international crises, race relations and issues of particular concern to women. Expectations of Trump are more negative than positive by 24 points on women’s issues, 37-61 percent, and by 17 points on race relations, 40-57 percent.

      Skeptics/Issues

      More generally, skepticism about Trump is extensive: Sixty-one percent of Americans lack confidence in him to make the right decisions for the country’s future. Obama was rated as poorly on this measure in the midst of his second term. But he started his presidency with the opposite result — 61 percent confidence.

      Fifty-two percent also see Trump as unqualified for office. Still, in a positive trend for him, that’s down from a peak of 64 percent in June.

      Results are informed by opposition to many of the incoming administration’s policy plans. Out of eight such policies tested in this survey, majorities support three: Deporting undocumented immigrants who’ve committed crimes (most popular by far, with 72 percent support), renegotiating the NAFTA trade agreement (57 percent) and punishing companies that move jobs overseas (53 percent).

      Support goes below 50 percent for repealing Obamacare (a split, 46-47 percent, support-oppose), building a wall on the border with Mexico (37 percent support), withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran (37 percent), barring entry to most Muslims who aren’t U.S. citizens (32 percent), and quitting the Paris climate treaty (31 percent). (On Obamacare, two-thirds of those who favor repeal say the law should be replaced with a new one at the same time.)

      It’s notable that large majorities oppose two proposals that have been signatures of Trump’s political rise — barring entry of non-U.S. Muslims (63 percent opposed) and building a wall across the border with Mexico (opposed by 60 percent).

      Opposition peaks, at 66 percent, to another idea, providing tax breaks for privately funded roads, bridges and transportation projects that would then charge tolls for people who use them.

      Another likely policy debate may pose its own risks for Trump. He’s proposed an across-the-board tax cut. Seventy-five percent in this survey support a tax cut for middle- and low-income Americans, but support falls to 48 percent for a business tax cut and just 36 percent for cutting taxes paid by higher-income Americans.

      Others

      Among other issues:

      • Just 35 percent approve of the way Trump’s handled the issue of campaign email hacking, while 54 percent disapprove. Nearly two-thirds think Russia was behind it, and among them, seven in 10 think Russia’s goal was to help Trump win the election. Forty-three percent see Trump as “too friendly” toward Russia; about as many say he’s handling this well.

      • Neither the media nor Trump are well rated in their handling of one another, but Trump fares considerably less well. Americans divide essentially evenly on whether the news media are treating Trump fairly or unfairly. But they see Trump’s treatment of the news media as unfair rather than fair by a substantial 57-38 percent margin.

      Groups

      Evaluations of Trump’s proposed policies and expectations for his presidency vary widely, with no division more prominent than the one between political partisans.

      One of the largest rifts by party emerges on Trump’s planned wall along the Mexican border: Seventy-two percent of Republicans support it, most saying they do so strongly, while 87 percent of Democrats are opposed, nearly three-quarters strongly. Partisans split similarly on repealing the Affordable Care Act, with eight in 10 Republicans in favor and three-quarters of Democrats against.

      In terms of expectations, nearly all Republicans expect Trump to do an excellent or good job handling the economy and job creation alike, while fewer than three in 10 Democrats say the same. Democrats are the least optimistic about Trump’s potential handling of the health care system, with just 9 percent giving him at least a “good” prospective rating. That compares with 87 percent of Republicans.

      Not all of Trump’s plans are welcomed as universally by GOP partisans: Fewer than half of Republicans support the public-private infrastructure plan proposed by his advisers or his previous intention to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. (He’s now said he has an “open mind” about the deal.) For their part, fewer than a quarter of Democrats support either.

      Some divisions echo the election. White men without college degrees, a strongly pro-Trump group, support repealing the 2010 health care law by 65-27 percent, while white women with a college degree — who narrowly backed Clinton — mirror them in opposition, 35-63 percent. The pattern repeats in expectations for Trump’s handling of race relations; nearly two-thirds of non-college white men have high expectations, while as many college-educated white women have low ones.

      Race itself is a key factor: Compared with whites, nonwhites are 36 points less likely to expect much from Trump in job creation and 30 points less likely to think he’ll do well on race relations. And while support for building the Mexican border wall has increased among whites from 42 to 50 percent since September, it remains extremely unpopular among Hispanics, with just 11 percent support.

      There’ll be much measurement of Trump’s job approval in the years ahead, and the best stand-in for that gauge now is approval of his handling of the transition. This peaks at 77 percent among Republicans, 68 percent among strong conservatives and 61 percent among evangelical white Protestants. But it’s just 45 percent in the states Trump won in the presidential election, as well as 42 percent among political independents, with 50 percent disapproving.

      Further, whites, a group Trump won by a 20 points in the election (per the exit poll), approve of his work on the transition by a 10-point margin, 52 to 42 percent. That ranges from 64 percent approval among non-college white men to 36 percent among college-educated white women. Seventy-five percent of nonwhites disapprove, including 85 percent of blacks and 76 percent of Hispanics.

      Methodology

      This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 12-15, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-37 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

      The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Heavy Hitters Fund Trump’s Grand Production

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump made his mark both producing and starring in TV reality shows, but the production planned for Friday does not compare — it is poised to be more historic, more grand, and without a doubt much more expensive.

      The price tag could surpass $200 million for an oath of office that takes about a minute, and a grand array of festivities that follow. And much as he has with his beauty pageants and his NBC program The Apprentice, the President-elect is reported to be personally involved in the tiniest of details for the Inaugural events.

      “He looks like he’s just an average guy. But he’s a brilliant man,” said Phil Ruffin, an Inaugural Committee vice chair.

      As they have for generations, American taxpayers will pay for the official part of the program — more than $115 million in recent years for the platform in front of the Capitol, the parade viewing boxes, and a dragnet of security along the 1.2 miles up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

      But another $90 million to $100 million will come from corporations and big money donors. Six- and seven-figure donors will be offered elaborate inauguration packages, including exclusive dinners, tickets, concerts and inaugural balls.

      The approach is similar to past inaugural events — though on a grander scale.

      Obama’s second swearing-in cost taxpayers more than $100 million, but he raised about what half of what Trump is reported to have collected.

      Donations for inaugural events have no legal limits, according to Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics. They will be reported 90 days after the new president takes office.

      The fundraising effort is a turnabout from early in Trump’s campaign, when he pledged to finance his march to the White House with his own wealth.

      “I don’t need anybody’s money,” he said at his campaign announcement. “I am using my own money, I’m not using lobbyists, I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.”

      But now Trump’s inaugural committee is pulling in huge contributions from some of the biggest corporations that will want a good relationship with the new President.

      Reportedly among them: big banks and large corporations seeking to limit government red tape. And many individual donors to Trump’s festivities have backgrounds similar to Ruffin’s – wealthy business executives who have history with Trump, but few ties to old Washington.

      Ruffin, the billionaire casino executive who owns Treasure Island, partnered with Trump on the New York tycoon’s Las Vegas hotel. Later, Trump stood as best man at Ruffin’s wedding.

      “They wanted a million dollars for these eight tickets,” Ruffin explained. “For half a million you can get four tickets but I needed eight. So I had to send a million dollars.”

      “So of the ninety million dollars [raised], I am a million dollars of that,” he said.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Heavy Hitters Fund Trump’s Grand Production

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump made his mark both producing and starring in TV reality shows, but the production planned for Friday does not compare — it is poised to be more historic, more grand, and without a doubt much more expensive.

      The price tag could surpass $200 million for an oath of office that takes about a minute, and a grand array of festivities that follow. And much as he has with his beauty pageants and his NBC program The Apprentice, the President-elect is reported to be personally involved in the tiniest of details for the Inaugural events.

      “He looks like he’s just an average guy. But he’s a brilliant man,” said Phil Ruffin, an Inaugural Committee vice chair.

      As they have for generations, American taxpayers will pay for the official part of the program — more than $115 million in recent years for the platform in front of the Capitol, the parade viewing boxes, and a dragnet of security along the 1.2 miles up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

      But another $90 million to $100 million will come from corporations and big money donors. Six- and seven-figure donors will be offered elaborate inauguration packages, including exclusive dinners, tickets, concerts and inaugural balls.

      The approach is similar to past inaugural events — though on a grander scale.

      Obama’s second swearing-in cost taxpayers more than $100 million, but he raised about what half of what Trump is reported to have collected.

      Donations for inaugural events have no legal limits, according to Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics. They will be reported 90 days after the new president takes office.

      The fundraising effort is a turnabout from early in Trump’s campaign, when he pledged to finance his march to the White House with his own wealth.

      “I don’t need anybody’s money,” he said at his campaign announcement. “I am using my own money, I’m not using lobbyists, I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.”

      But now Trump’s inaugural committee is pulling in huge contributions from some of the biggest corporations that will want a good relationship with the new President.

      Reportedly among them: big banks and large corporations seeking to limit government red tape. And many individual donors to Trump’s festivities have backgrounds similar to Ruffin’s – wealthy business executives who have history with Trump, but few ties to old Washington.

      Ruffin, the billionaire casino executive who owns Treasure Island, partnered with Trump on the New York tycoon’s Las Vegas hotel. Later, Trump stood as best man at Ruffin’s wedding.

      “They wanted a million dollars for these eight tickets,” Ruffin explained. “For half a million you can get four tickets but I needed eight. So I had to send a million dollars.”

      “So of the ninety million dollars [raised], I am a million dollars of that,” he said.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 38 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip the Inauguration

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 38 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s Friday inauguration. While some made their decision in previous weeks, several more have now come forward, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-New York, said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying, “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

      I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.

      — Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017

      Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

      "All talk, no action."

      I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration. pic.twitter.com/z8Q0wA9OPK

      — Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 14, 2017

      After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.

      — Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) January 15, 2017

      Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, wrote in a statement that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      My statement on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf

      — Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 5, 2017

      Several more representatives announced their absence at the inauguration on Martin Luther King Day, again referencing Lewis.

      “President-elect Trump, you have the undeniable right to take issue and disagree with John Lewis’ opinion about the legitimacy of the election results,” Rep. Anthony Brown, a Democrat from Maryland, wrote on Facebook Monday. “But Mr. Trump, you need to think carefully about disparaging a Civil Rights icon such as John Lewis, let alone anyone exercising their freedom of expression that many of us fought for.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-California, and John Conyers, D-Michigan, did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who decided not to attend the inauguration earlier in January, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future president said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, said on Twitter she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will participate in community organizing in their home districts. Those skipping represent about 16 percent of all House Democrats.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members planning not to attend the inauguration:

      •     Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      •     Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      •     Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      •     Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      •     Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      •     Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      •     Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      •     Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      •     Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
      •     Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
      •     Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      •     Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      •     Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      •     Rep. Anthony Brown, D-MD
      •     Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      •     Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN
      •     Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      •     Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      •     Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
      •     Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      •     Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      •     Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      •     Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
      •     Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      •     Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      •     Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
      •     Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
      •     Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA
      •     Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN
      •     Rep. Don Beyer, D-VA
      •     Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      •     Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
      •     Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI
      •     Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-ME
      •     Rep. John Yarmuth, D-KY
      •     Rep. Darren Soto, D-FL
      •     Rep. Al Green, D-TX
      •     Rep. Brendan Boyle. D-PA

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 38 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip the Inauguration

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 38 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s Friday inauguration. While some made their decision in previous weeks, several more have now come forward, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-New York, said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying, “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

      I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.

      — Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017

      Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

      "All talk, no action."

      I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration. pic.twitter.com/z8Q0wA9OPK

      — Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 14, 2017

      After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.

      — Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) January 15, 2017

      Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, wrote in a statement that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      My statement on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf

      — Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 5, 2017

      Several more representatives announced their absence at the inauguration on Martin Luther King Day, again referencing Lewis.

      “President-elect Trump, you have the undeniable right to take issue and disagree with John Lewis’ opinion about the legitimacy of the election results,” Rep. Anthony Brown, a Democrat from Maryland, wrote on Facebook Monday. “But Mr. Trump, you need to think carefully about disparaging a Civil Rights icon such as John Lewis, let alone anyone exercising their freedom of expression that many of us fought for.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-California, and John Conyers, D-Michigan, did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who decided not to attend the inauguration earlier in January, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future president said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, said on Twitter she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will participate in community organizing in their home districts. Those skipping represent about 16 percent of all House Democrats.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members planning not to attend the inauguration:

      •     Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      •     Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      •     Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      •     Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      •     Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      •     Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      •     Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      •     Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      •     Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
      •     Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
      •     Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      •     Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      •     Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      •     Rep. Anthony Brown, D-MD
      •     Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      •     Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN
      •     Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      •     Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      •     Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
      •     Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      •     Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      •     Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      •     Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
      •     Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      •     Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      •     Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
      •     Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
      •     Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA
      •     Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN
      •     Rep. Don Beyer, D-VA
      •     Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      •     Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
      •     Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI
      •     Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-ME
      •     Rep. John Yarmuth, D-KY
      •     Rep. Darren Soto, D-FL
      •     Rep. Al Green, D-TX
      •     Rep. Brendan Boyle. D-PA

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Possible Flashpoints for This Week’s Cabinet Confirmation Hearings

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The first week of Senate confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for various positions led to several splits in terms of policy between the would-be department heads and their boss.

      Eight more Cabinet-level nominees are slated to have their hearings in the final days leading up to the inauguration on Friday.

      Here are six potential flashpoints that could cause verbal fireworks inside the Capitol this week.

      Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education

      When it comes to the confirmation of Trump’s education secretary pick, the controversies will likely stem directly from policy positions.

      Betsy DeVos has been an outspoken supporter of school choice and charter schools, which some education activists oppose.

      There have been a number of open letters written to DeVos since her nomination was announced, one of which was penned by a group of public school teachers who took issue with the fact that DeVos has not attended or sent her children to public schools nor worked as an educator at any point in her career.

      Scott Pruitt, Head of the Environmental Protection Agency

      Environmentalists have raised concerns over the nomination of Scott Pruitt to be the head of the EPA for a number of reasons, including his past involvements with the agency, his ties to the oil and gas industry, his support of the Keystone XL Pipeline and questions he has raised about global warming in general.

      Pruitt, the Republican attorney general for Oklahoma since 2011, has interacted most directly with the EPA by suing it over what he sees as overreaching federal regulations.

      Some scientists have also questioned his fitness to run the environmental agency considering he has publicly stated that he believes the debate over the cause of global warming is “far from settled.”

      His nomination to now lead the agency is akin to putting “someone in charge of the Defense Department who doesn’t believe we should have a military or someone in charge of the Transportation Department who doesn’t like roads,” said Dan Kanninen, a former White House liaison at the EPA.

      Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce

      The wealth of Trump’s Cabinet picks is clearest with the nomination of Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor.

      Aside from Trump himself, Ross is the only Cabinet pick who is listed as part of the Forbes 400, the magazine’s 2016 edition of its list of the wealthiest Americans. Ross is worth an estimated $2.5 billion.

      Ross has been hailed as a hero by some for saving failing industries but critics have likened the business practice to being a “vulture investor,” though Ross himself disdains the term, according to a 2004 New York magazine profile, which also noted that he prefers the description “a phoenix that rebuilds itself from the ashes.”

      Rep. Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Humans Services

      The fight over the fate of Obamacare has already started, but that’s likely going to be at the forefront of the hearing for Tom Price, an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act.

      Price, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and an orthopedic surgeon, is one of the few Republicans in Congress to have proposed a detailed conservative alternative to Obamacare.

      Price introduced the Empowering Patients First Act to the 113th Congress (which spanned 2013 to 2014). It’s described on his website as “legislation that fully repeals Obamacare and starts over with patient-centered solutions.” The bill is almost 250 pages long.

      As health and human services secretary, Price would play a major role in any repeal or replacement of Obamacare and in any changes to Medicare, which he supports privatizing.

      Former Gov. Rick Perry, Energy Secretary

      Aside from the fact that Rick Perry is always going to be remembered for forgetting the Department of Energy years before he was called to not only not dismantle the department but to lead it, the former Texas governor’s ties to energy companies will be in question as potential conflicts of interest.

      One of the clearest possible conflicts comes from his place on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline.

      Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary

      Steven Mnuchin, who worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years before going on to found his own investment firm, is going to be scrutinized for his previous work in the financial sector and his possible conflicts of interest.

      Mnuchin led a group of investors who bought the failed IndyMac bank, rebranding it as OneWest Bank and eventually selling it last year to CIT Group for approximately $3.4 billion.

      His time with OneWest is going to be a major point of contention as Senate Democrats have been asking Americans to share their stories about “his bank’s practice of buying distressed mortgages during the financial crisis and evicting thousands of homeowners,” according to their website.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Possible Flashpoints for This Week’s Cabinet Confirmation Hearings

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The first week of Senate confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for various positions led to several splits in terms of policy between the would-be department heads and their boss.

      Eight more Cabinet-level nominees are slated to have their hearings in the final days leading up to the inauguration on Friday.

      Here are six potential flashpoints that could cause verbal fireworks inside the Capitol this week.

      Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education

      When it comes to the confirmation of Trump’s education secretary pick, the controversies will likely stem directly from policy positions.

      Betsy DeVos has been an outspoken supporter of school choice and charter schools, which some education activists oppose.

      There have been a number of open letters written to DeVos since her nomination was announced, one of which was penned by a group of public school teachers who took issue with the fact that DeVos has not attended or sent her children to public schools nor worked as an educator at any point in her career.

      Scott Pruitt, Head of the Environmental Protection Agency

      Environmentalists have raised concerns over the nomination of Scott Pruitt to be the head of the EPA for a number of reasons, including his past involvements with the agency, his ties to the oil and gas industry, his support of the Keystone XL Pipeline and questions he has raised about global warming in general.

      Pruitt, the Republican attorney general for Oklahoma since 2011, has interacted most directly with the EPA by suing it over what he sees as overreaching federal regulations.

      Some scientists have also questioned his fitness to run the environmental agency considering he has publicly stated that he believes the debate over the cause of global warming is “far from settled.”

      His nomination to now lead the agency is akin to putting “someone in charge of the Defense Department who doesn’t believe we should have a military or someone in charge of the Transportation Department who doesn’t like roads,” said Dan Kanninen, a former White House liaison at the EPA.

      Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce

      The wealth of Trump’s Cabinet picks is clearest with the nomination of Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor.

      Aside from Trump himself, Ross is the only Cabinet pick who is listed as part of the Forbes 400, the magazine’s 2016 edition of its list of the wealthiest Americans. Ross is worth an estimated $2.5 billion.

      Ross has been hailed as a hero by some for saving failing industries but critics have likened the business practice to being a “vulture investor,” though Ross himself disdains the term, according to a 2004 New York magazine profile, which also noted that he prefers the description “a phoenix that rebuilds itself from the ashes.”

      Rep. Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Humans Services

      The fight over the fate of Obamacare has already started, but that’s likely going to be at the forefront of the hearing for Tom Price, an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act.

      Price, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and an orthopedic surgeon, is one of the few Republicans in Congress to have proposed a detailed conservative alternative to Obamacare.

      Price introduced the Empowering Patients First Act to the 113th Congress (which spanned 2013 to 2014). It’s described on his website as “legislation that fully repeals Obamacare and starts over with patient-centered solutions.” The bill is almost 250 pages long.

      As health and human services secretary, Price would play a major role in any repeal or replacement of Obamacare and in any changes to Medicare, which he supports privatizing.

      Former Gov. Rick Perry, Energy Secretary

      Aside from the fact that Rick Perry is always going to be remembered for forgetting the Department of Energy years before he was called to not only not dismantle the department but to lead it, the former Texas governor’s ties to energy companies will be in question as potential conflicts of interest.

      One of the clearest possible conflicts comes from his place on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline.

      Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary

      Steven Mnuchin, who worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years before going on to found his own investment firm, is going to be scrutinized for his previous work in the financial sector and his possible conflicts of interest.

      Mnuchin led a group of investors who bought the failed IndyMac bank, rebranding it as OneWest Bank and eventually selling it last year to CIT Group for approximately $3.4 billion.

      His time with OneWest is going to be a major point of contention as Senate Democrats have been asking Americans to share their stories about “his bank’s practice of buying distressed mortgages during the financial crisis and evicting thousands of homeowners,” according to their website.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      How Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary May Reignite the Education Wars

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, has the nation’s teachers unions preparing to re-enter battle over public education systems, a little over a year after a bipartisan education reform deal was reached on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

      DeVos, a wealthy Republican donor and activist, has been a long-time champion for school choice in her home state of Michigan, where she’s advocated in favor of vouchers and the expansion the state’s charter schools.

      While DeVos’ admirers revere her as an effective disrupter who has put her own money into supporting school choice policies, her critics tie her to the checkered track record of Michigan’s charter schools and see her advocacy for vouchers as a threat to public education.

      DeVos’ background, coupled with the president-elect’s campaign proposal to redirect $20 billion in federal dollars back to the states for use in voucher programs, has set the stage for a battle over the nation’s education system.

      Who Is Betsy DeVos?

      DeVos has been involved in the promotion school choice policies for several decades in her home state of Michigan.

      She is is married to Dick DeVos, son of billionaire Amway co-founder Richard DeVos. Together, the couple has used their wealth to influence the education debate in Michigan. They have both been active in state politics. DeVos spent several years as chairwoman of the state Republican Party, while her husband ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006.

      In 2000, the DeVoses led a campaign to amend the state constitution to allow school vouchers in the state. The proposal ultimately failed.

      Since that time, DeVos has put her focus primarily on promoting and expanding charter schools and is considered one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school system.

      She has helped to found several education-related organizations to promote increasing school choice policies, including the Alliance for School Choice, the Great Lakes Education Project and the American Federation for Children (AFC).

      What Her Critics Say

      Public education advocates and teachers unions paint a bleak picture of the charter school system in Michigan that DeVos has taken a leading role to promote. Many view her support for vouchers, which allow government education funds to follow each individual student to the public or private school of their parents choice, as a threat to public education.

      The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, has labeled DeVos “the most anti-public education nominee” in the history of the Department of Education and contends that DeVos ultimately wants to replace public education with a private system.

      “She’s enemy number one to children and to having a viable public education system there to help all kids,” said Weingarten. “She doesn’t want kids to have more options, she wants no public school options. She just wants a private system.”

      The National Education Association, another leading teachers union, similarly accuses DeVos of “undermin[ing] public education.”

      “She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said in a statement.

      Weingarten points to statistics of the state of charter schools in Michigan to make the case that DeVos has made things worse, rather than better, in Michigan education. She raises particular alarm at the high number of for-profit charter school operators as limiting transparency and accountability in the charter system.

      “80 percent of the charters in Michigan are for-profit; it’s called the ‘Wild Wild West’ for a reason,” Weingartern said. “Seventy-five percent of all schools in the state perform better than the state’s charter schools.”

      According to a Detroit Free Press investigation of Michigan’s charter schools published in 2014, “38 percent of charter schools that received state academic rankings during the 2012-13 school year fell below the 25th percentile [while] only 23 percent of traditional public schools fell below the 25th percentile.”

      Though Weingarten said the AFT supports effective charter schools as one part of the overall public education system, she said the high number of for-profit operators coupled with a a lack of transparency — a situation which she blamed on DeVos — have been a negative formula for Michigan’s at-risk students. Weingarten specifically blames DeVos for killing a proposal for a school oversight commission that would have been run by the Detroit mayor’s office.

      “She fought for no accountability,” Weingartern said in a speech at the National Press Club last week. “No accountability, even in cases like the Detroit charter schools that closed just days after the deadline to get state funding, leaving students scrambling to find a new school, but the charter operators still profiting.”

      What Her Supporters Say

      Supporters of DeVos paint a far different picture of her record and the state of charter schools in Michigan. They accuse DeVos’ critics of skewing data to argue that charter schools are under-performing traditional schools Michigan.

      Gary G. Naeyaert, the Executive Director of the Michigan-based Great Lakes Education Project that was founded and bankrolled by Betsy and Dick DeVos, said that “while it’s true that 38 percent of charters fall into the bottom 25 percent,” he also points out that “85 percent of Detroit Public Schools fall into the bottom 25 percent.”

      Matt Frendewey of the American Federation for Children, an organization that DeVos chaired until recently, takes issue with the criticism that DeVos has opposed accountability in Detroit’s charter schools.

      “The only thing that she opposed was this un-elected, mayoral-appointed commission that was designed to essentially bolster the schools that had been failing at the expense of charter schools,” Frendewey said. “The whole reason school choice came about was because students were trapped in a failing system. It’s all about holding the system accountable.”

      Jeanne Allen, the chairman and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, believes DeVos is the “right person” to tackle the “morass called the Department of Education” and said DeVos opposed to the oversight commission because it would have put control of the charters back under the control of the district from it was established as an alternative.

      “She, as one of a group of advocates, said to the governor, ‘This is insane. Why would we actually give control of charter schools back to the districts for which they were created to allow parents an option,” Allen said. “And the governor told me, ‘That’s not what they told me was happening, thanks for clarifying.’ When you have the political weight of Betsy DeVos, that’s what you’re able to do.”

      A New Education War?

      If DeVos’ past is any indication of her future as the potential head of the Department of Education, her leadership is almost sure to reignite a fierce debate on education.

      It’s a fight that Weingarten believes would be counterproductive so soon after Republicans and Democrats came together back in December 2015 to agree to the terms of ESSA — bipartisan legislation that she said had “no losers” and replaced the widely unpopular No Child Left Behind legislation.

      “Really, reigniting these wars after we came to this consensus and solved programs?” she asked. “This was supposed to be the time to really roll up our sleeves and get this done, now that the policy piece was done.”

      But on the other side of the debate, Allen said the education wars never really ended and she welcomes DeVos to lead the fight in favor of opening up more public and private school options in education.

      “We’ve been fighting education wars for years. It doesn’t matter how tepid we are, any suggestion of changing the status quo emits screams and howls from the traditional establishment,” Allen said. “If we can’t be controversial … in debate about how to help our kids then we should be out of business.”

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      How Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary May Reignite the Education Wars

      Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, has the nation’s teachers unions preparing to re-enter battle over public education systems, a little over a year after a bipartisan education reform deal was reached on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

      DeVos, a wealthy Republican donor and activist, has been a long-time champion for school choice in her home state of Michigan, where she’s advocated in favor of vouchers and the expansion the state’s charter schools.

      While DeVos’ admirers revere her as an effective disrupter who has put her own money into supporting school choice policies, her critics tie her to the checkered track record of Michigan’s charter schools and see her advocacy for vouchers as a threat to public education.

      DeVos’ background, coupled with the president-elect’s campaign proposal to redirect $20 billion in federal dollars back to the states for use in voucher programs, has set the stage for a battle over the nation’s education system.

      Who Is Betsy DeVos?

      DeVos has been involved in the promotion school choice policies for several decades in her home state of Michigan.

      She is is married to Dick DeVos, son of billionaire Amway co-founder Richard DeVos. Together, the couple has used their wealth to influence the education debate in Michigan. They have both been active in state politics. DeVos spent several years as chairwoman of the state Republican Party, while her husband ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006.

      In 2000, the DeVoses led a campaign to amend the state constitution to allow school vouchers in the state. The proposal ultimately failed.

      Since that time, DeVos has put her focus primarily on promoting and expanding charter schools and is considered one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school system.

      She has helped to found several education-related organizations to promote increasing school choice policies, including the Alliance for School Choice, the Great Lakes Education Project and the American Federation for Children (AFC).

      What Her Critics Say

      Public education advocates and teachers unions paint a bleak picture of the charter school system in Michigan that DeVos has taken a leading role to promote. Many view her support for vouchers, which allow government education funds to follow each individual student to the public or private school of their parents choice, as a threat to public education.

      The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, has labeled DeVos “the most anti-public education nominee” in the history of the Department of Education and contends that DeVos ultimately wants to replace public education with a private system.

      “She’s enemy number one to children and to having a viable public education system there to help all kids,” said Weingarten. “She doesn’t want kids to have more options, she wants no public school options. She just wants a private system.”

      The National Education Association, another leading teachers union, similarly accuses DeVos of “undermin[ing] public education.”

      “She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said in a statement.

      Weingarten points to statistics of the state of charter schools in Michigan to make the case that DeVos has made things worse, rather than better, in Michigan education. She raises particular alarm at the high number of for-profit charter school operators as limiting transparency and accountability in the charter system.

      “80 percent of the charters in Michigan are for-profit; it’s called the ‘Wild Wild West’ for a reason,” Weingartern said. “Seventy-five percent of all schools in the state perform better than the state’s charter schools.”

      According to a Detroit Free Press investigation of Michigan’s charter schools published in 2014, “38 percent of charter schools that received state academic rankings during the 2012-13 school year fell below the 25th percentile [while] only 23 percent of traditional public schools fell below the 25th percentile.”

      Though Weingarten said the AFT supports effective charter schools as one part of the overall public education system, she said the high number of for-profit operators coupled with a a lack of transparency — a situation which she blamed on DeVos — have been a negative formula for Michigan’s at-risk students. Weingarten specifically blames DeVos for killing a proposal for a school oversight commission that would have been run by the Detroit mayor’s office.

      “She fought for no accountability,” Weingartern said in a speech at the National Press Club last week. “No accountability, even in cases like the Detroit charter schools that closed just days after the deadline to get state funding, leaving students scrambling to find a new school, but the charter operators still profiting.”

      What Her Supporters Say

      Supporters of DeVos paint a far different picture of her record and the state of charter schools in Michigan. They accuse DeVos’ critics of skewing data to argue that charter schools are under-performing traditional schools Michigan.

      Gary G. Naeyaert, the Executive Director of the Michigan-based Great Lakes Education Project that was founded and bankrolled by Betsy and Dick DeVos, said that “while it’s true that 38 percent of charters fall into the bottom 25 percent,” he also points out that “85 percent of Detroit Public Schools fall into the bottom 25 percent.”

      Matt Frendewey of the American Federation for Children, an organization that DeVos chaired until recently, takes issue with the criticism that DeVos has opposed accountability in Detroit’s charter schools.

      “The only thing that she opposed was this un-elected, mayoral-appointed commission that was designed to essentially bolster the schools that had been failing at the expense of charter schools,” Frendewey said. “The whole reason school choice came about was because students were trapped in a failing system. It’s all about holding the system accountable.”

      Jeanne Allen, the chairman and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, believes DeVos is the “right person” to tackle the “morass called the Department of Education” and said DeVos opposed to the oversight commission because it would have put control of the charters back under the control of the district from it was established as an alternative.

      “She, as one of a group of advocates, said to the governor, ‘This is insane. Why would we actually give control of charter schools back to the districts for which they were created to allow parents an option,” Allen said. “And the governor told me, ‘That’s not what they told me was happening, thanks for clarifying.’ When you have the political weight of Betsy DeVos, that’s what you’re able to do.”

      A New Education War?

      If DeVos’ past is any indication of her future as the potential head of the Department of Education, her leadership is almost sure to reignite a fierce debate on education.

      It’s a fight that Weingarten believes would be counterproductive so soon after Republicans and Democrats came together back in December 2015 to agree to the terms of ESSA — bipartisan legislation that she said had “no losers” and replaced the widely unpopular No Child Left Behind legislation.

      “Really, reigniting these wars after we came to this consensus and solved programs?” she asked. “This was supposed to be the time to really roll up our sleeves and get this done, now that the policy piece was done.”

      But on the other side of the debate, Allen said the education wars never really ended and she welcomes DeVos to lead the fight in favor of opening up more public and private school options in education.

      “We’ve been fighting education wars for years. It doesn’t matter how tepid we are, any suggestion of changing the status quo emits screams and howls from the traditional establishment,” Allen said. “If we can’t be controversial … in debate about how to help our kids then we should be out of business.”

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 33 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip the Inauguration

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 33 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s Friday inauguration. While some made their decision in previous weeks, several more have now come forward, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-New York, said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

       

      I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.

      — Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017

       

      Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is running to be the Democratic National Committee chair, announced on Twitter Monday he would not be attending. He said: “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won’t be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration.”

       

      I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won’t be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration.

      — Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 16, 2017

       

      Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

       

      “All talk, no action.”

      I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration. pic.twitter.com/z8Q0wA9OPK

      — Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 14, 2017

       

       

      After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.

      — Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) January 15, 2017

       

      Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., wrote in a statement that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., and John Conyers, D-Mich., did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements, but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who decided not to attend the inauguration earlier in January, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug-dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future President said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, said on Twitter she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

       

      My statement on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf

      — Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 5, 2017

       

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will participate in community organizing in their home districts.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members planning not to attend the inauguration:

      • Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      • Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      • Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      • Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      • Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
      • Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
      • Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      • Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      • Rep. Anthony Brown, D-MD
      • Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      • Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN
      • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
      • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      • Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      • Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      • Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
      • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      • Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
      • Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
      • Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA
      • Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN
      • Rep. Don Beyer, D-VA
      • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      • Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
      • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 33 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip the Inauguration

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 33 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s Friday inauguration. While some made their decision in previous weeks, several more have now come forward, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-New York, said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

       

      I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.

      — Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017

       

      Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is running to be the Democratic National Committee chair, announced on Twitter Monday he would not be attending. He said: “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won’t be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration.”

       

      I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won’t be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration.

      — Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 16, 2017

       

      Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

       

      “All talk, no action.”

      I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration. pic.twitter.com/z8Q0wA9OPK

      — Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 14, 2017

       

       

      After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.

      — Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) January 15, 2017

       

      Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., wrote in a statement that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., and John Conyers, D-Mich., did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements, but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who decided not to attend the inauguration earlier in January, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug-dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future President said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, said on Twitter she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

       

      My statement on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf

      — Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 5, 2017

       

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will participate in community organizing in their home districts.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members planning not to attend the inauguration:

      • Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      • Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      • Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      • Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      • Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
      • Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
      • Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      • Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      • Rep. Anthony Brown, D-MD
      • Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      • Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN
      • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
      • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      • Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      • Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      • Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
      • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      • Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
      • Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
      • Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA
      • Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN
      • Rep. Don Beyer, D-VA
      • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      • Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
      • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Trump’s Attack on Rep. John Lewis Spotlights Tenuous Relationship with African-Americans

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      Darren McCollester/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump’s attack on Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, this weekend has rekindled the perception among many critics that the president-elect has done little to improve his standing among black voters, who consistently gave him single-digit approval ratings during the presidential campaign.

      After a Friday interview in which Lewis said Trump was not the “legitimate” president because of alleged Russian interference in the election, Trump responded on Twitter Saturday, writing that Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      The Twitter posts, two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, prompted an outcry and renewed doubts about any Trump efforts to improve relations with African-Americans.

      When asked about Trump’s appeals to black voters during the end of the campaign, for instance, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton told ABC News in August that “the facts don’t speak to” Trump’s being genuine about his appeal to black voters.

      “I think that the appeal is based on the assumption that black people are stupid,” Sharpton said.

      Outreach as President-Elect

      One of the most visible ways Trump has tried to broaden his outreach in recent weeks has been by inviting people from various communities to high-profile meetings at Trump Tower in New York City.

      From international business leaders and tech giants to leading Democrats and entertainers, many of these people sat with him in private meetings before or after passing a cluster of reporters in his New York tower lobby. He has also met with a number of prominent African-Americans , including Kanye West, Steve Harvey and Martin Luther King III, whom Trump sat with this afternoon.

      But after making few direct appeals to black urban voters during the campaign, Trump picked only one African-American to include in his cabinet: former foe Dr. Ben Carson, who is his selection to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

      Another high-profile staffing announcement harkens back to Trump’s reality-TV days. Omarosa Manigault, who shot to fame as part of Trump’s reality show, “The Apprentice,” was named the director of African-American outreach for the Trump campaign during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, and she will follow Trump to the White House after being offered the role of public liaison.

      Talking Points From the Trail

      While Trump has made some public overtures to Africa-American voters in the form of appointments and meetings, the tweets bashing Lewis appear to share a theme with some of his frequent campaign references.

      Trump often equated African-American communities and “inner cities,” even though data show otherwise. From 2010 to 2014, about 39 percent of African-Americans — whether rich, middle income or poor — lived in the suburbs, and 36 percent live in cities, according to Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program who relied on U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data.

      The remaining 25 percent are spread across small metropolitan and rural communities, the data show.

      And when Trump referenced “inner cities” in his speeches about African-Americans, he often painted a grim picture.

      “We are going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever,” Trump said at a rally in Kenansville, North Carolina, in September.

      He also said, “You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street,” which Trump echoed this weekend with references to Lewis’ congressional district, which includes both affluent and impoverished areas, as being in “horrible shape and falling apart.”

      Many people took offense to the September campaign remark in particular, with President Obama out in front.

      “You may have heard Hillary’s opponent in the election say that there’s never been a worse time to be a black person. He missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow,” Obama said in an address to the Congressional Black Caucus in September after Trump’s comment.

      Trump also triggered controversy when he mentioned black youth unemployment in his stump speeches, claiming multiple times that 58 percent are out of work. His campaign has told ABC News that he based the number on 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics data and included not only 16- to 24-year-old black Americans who were unemployed, but also those whom the federal government didn’t count in the labor force, which likely included a number of full-time students not seeking work.

      Public Outreach During the Campaign

      Trump made a handful of campaign stops directly aimed at African-American voters, including his first visit to a black church in Detroit in September alongside Carson where he delivered a message of unity that included a call to address economic challenges in the black community.

      He then later visited another black church in Flint, Michigan, but was scolded by the pastor when he started to condemn Hillary Clinton. Trump later called the female pastor “a nervous mess.”

      He declined several invitations to speak to groups such as the NAACP, the Urban League and a joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

      When asked in August about Trump’s decisions to skip those events, Manigault pointed out that the NAACP event was scheduled for the same day as the start of the RNC, so Trump “made the difficult decision” to skip the conference in favor of being in Cleveland to hear his wife, Melania Trump, address the crowd.

      “Certainly he should have an opportunity to address the bodies of those organizations, but it’s not the only opportunity,” Manigault said of the declined invitations.”

      Trump also held meetings with groups of African-American pastors, most of whom became part of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump.

      In the end, he did get 8 percent of the African-American vote in the presidential election.

      Pre-Campaign Clashes

      Even before entering the political fray, Trump had public run-ins with the African-American community.

      The first came in 1973, five years after he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Trump was deeply involved in the family’s New York City real estate business when the Justice Department filed a housing discrimination suit against Donald Trump, father Fred and their real estate management corporation.

      The civil suit claimed the Trump management corporation – of which Donald Trump was president – had been “discriminating against black persons in the operation of their buildings,” according to the DOJ’s news release on the date of the filing, Oct. 15, 1973.

      The Trumps “vigorously deny said allegations,” the court document states.

      The agreement, which laid out the specific terms that the Trumps would have to abide by moving forward, noted that it was “in no way an admission by it of a violation of the prohibition against discrimination.”

      The complaint against Fred Trump and Donald Trump was “dismissed against them in their personal capacity, with prejudice.”

      Later, in 1989, Trump inserted himself in the controversial Central Park Five case, in which five minority teens were accused of brutally attacking a white woman.

      Trump paid for open letters to be published in four major New York-area papers calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in connection to the case and painting a stark picture of life in the city amid a diminished police force.

      All five of the accused — four of whom are African American and one is Hispanic — made various confessions, which later came under review, and were convicted on differing combinations of charges — including rape, robbery, attempted murder, assault and riot — and served time. In 2002, the five were exonerated after an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Another man confessed to the crime.

      The Central Park Five case came up during last year’s campaign, when in October Trump reiterated his suggestion that he still believed the five were guilty.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Trump’s Attack on Rep. John Lewis Spotlights Tenuous Relationship with African-Americans

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      Darren McCollester/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump’s attack on Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, this weekend has rekindled the perception among many critics that the president-elect has done little to improve his standing among black voters, who consistently gave him single-digit approval ratings during the presidential campaign.

      After a Friday interview in which Lewis said Trump was not the “legitimate” president because of alleged Russian interference in the election, Trump responded on Twitter Saturday, writing that Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      The Twitter posts, two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, prompted an outcry and renewed doubts about any Trump efforts to improve relations with African-Americans.

      When asked about Trump’s appeals to black voters during the end of the campaign, for instance, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton told ABC News in August that “the facts don’t speak to” Trump’s being genuine about his appeal to black voters.

      “I think that the appeal is based on the assumption that black people are stupid,” Sharpton said.

      Outreach as President-Elect

      One of the most visible ways Trump has tried to broaden his outreach in recent weeks has been by inviting people from various communities to high-profile meetings at Trump Tower in New York City.

      From international business leaders and tech giants to leading Democrats and entertainers, many of these people sat with him in private meetings before or after passing a cluster of reporters in his New York tower lobby. He has also met with a number of prominent African-Americans , including Kanye West, Steve Harvey and Martin Luther King III, whom Trump sat with this afternoon.

      But after making few direct appeals to black urban voters during the campaign, Trump picked only one African-American to include in his cabinet: former foe Dr. Ben Carson, who is his selection to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

      Another high-profile staffing announcement harkens back to Trump’s reality-TV days. Omarosa Manigault, who shot to fame as part of Trump’s reality show, “The Apprentice,” was named the director of African-American outreach for the Trump campaign during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, and she will follow Trump to the White House after being offered the role of public liaison.

      Talking Points From the Trail

      While Trump has made some public overtures to Africa-American voters in the form of appointments and meetings, the tweets bashing Lewis appear to share a theme with some of his frequent campaign references.

      Trump often equated African-American communities and “inner cities,” even though data show otherwise. From 2010 to 2014, about 39 percent of African-Americans — whether rich, middle income or poor — lived in the suburbs, and 36 percent live in cities, according to Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program who relied on U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data.

      The remaining 25 percent are spread across small metropolitan and rural communities, the data show.

      And when Trump referenced “inner cities” in his speeches about African-Americans, he often painted a grim picture.

      “We are going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever,” Trump said at a rally in Kenansville, North Carolina, in September.

      He also said, “You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street,” which Trump echoed this weekend with references to Lewis’ congressional district, which includes both affluent and impoverished areas, as being in “horrible shape and falling apart.”

      Many people took offense to the September campaign remark in particular, with President Obama out in front.

      “You may have heard Hillary’s opponent in the election say that there’s never been a worse time to be a black person. He missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow,” Obama said in an address to the Congressional Black Caucus in September after Trump’s comment.

      Trump also triggered controversy when he mentioned black youth unemployment in his stump speeches, claiming multiple times that 58 percent are out of work. His campaign has told ABC News that he based the number on 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics data and included not only 16- to 24-year-old black Americans who were unemployed, but also those whom the federal government didn’t count in the labor force, which likely included a number of full-time students not seeking work.

      Public Outreach During the Campaign

      Trump made a handful of campaign stops directly aimed at African-American voters, including his first visit to a black church in Detroit in September alongside Carson where he delivered a message of unity that included a call to address economic challenges in the black community.

      He then later visited another black church in Flint, Michigan, but was scolded by the pastor when he started to condemn Hillary Clinton. Trump later called the female pastor “a nervous mess.”

      He declined several invitations to speak to groups such as the NAACP, the Urban League and a joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

      When asked in August about Trump’s decisions to skip those events, Manigault pointed out that the NAACP event was scheduled for the same day as the start of the RNC, so Trump “made the difficult decision” to skip the conference in favor of being in Cleveland to hear his wife, Melania Trump, address the crowd.

      “Certainly he should have an opportunity to address the bodies of those organizations, but it’s not the only opportunity,” Manigault said of the declined invitations.”

      Trump also held meetings with groups of African-American pastors, most of whom became part of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump.

      In the end, he did get 8 percent of the African-American vote in the presidential election.

      Pre-Campaign Clashes

      Even before entering the political fray, Trump had public run-ins with the African-American community.

      The first came in 1973, five years after he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Trump was deeply involved in the family’s New York City real estate business when the Justice Department filed a housing discrimination suit against Donald Trump, father Fred and their real estate management corporation.

      The civil suit claimed the Trump management corporation – of which Donald Trump was president – had been “discriminating against black persons in the operation of their buildings,” according to the DOJ’s news release on the date of the filing, Oct. 15, 1973.

      The Trumps “vigorously deny said allegations,” the court document states.

      The agreement, which laid out the specific terms that the Trumps would have to abide by moving forward, noted that it was “in no way an admission by it of a violation of the prohibition against discrimination.”

      The complaint against Fred Trump and Donald Trump was “dismissed against them in their personal capacity, with prejudice.”

      Later, in 1989, Trump inserted himself in the controversial Central Park Five case, in which five minority teens were accused of brutally attacking a white woman.

      Trump paid for open letters to be published in four major New York-area papers calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in connection to the case and painting a stark picture of life in the city amid a diminished police force.

      All five of the accused — four of whom are African American and one is Hispanic — made various confessions, which later came under review, and were convicted on differing combinations of charges — including rape, robbery, attempted murder, assault and riot — and served time. In 2002, the five were exonerated after an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Another man confessed to the crime.

      The Central Park Five case came up during last year’s campaign, when in October Trump reiterated his suggestion that he still believed the five were guilty.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Public Splits on Trump’s Ethics Compliance; Three-Quarters Want Tax Returns Released (POLL)

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      ABC News(NEW YORK) — Americans divide evenly on whether the incoming Trump administration is complying with ethics laws. And while a bare majority in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll accepts President-elect Donald Trump’s business ownership plan, three-quarters say he should release his tax returns.

      Contrary to his comment that the American public doesn’t care about the issue, four in 10 of those polled say they care “a lot” about Trump releasing his tax records.

      This report is a first look at results of an extensive ABC/Post pre-inaugural poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Results on Trump’s handling of the transition, views on his policy proposals and expectations for his presidency will be released Tuesday morning, with results Wednesday morning on President Barack Obama’s final ratings as president.

      In terms of ethics, the poll finds Americans are split on whether or not Trump, his family and his advisers are complying with federal ethics laws: Forty-three percent think so, while 44 percent think not.

      Partisan and ideological gaps are wide: Seventy-nine percent of Republicans say Trump is complying with ethics laws, dropping to 44 percent among independents and just 16 percent of Democrats. Similarly, it’s 72 percent among strong conservatives, slipping to 56 percent among “somewhat” conservative Americans, then plummeting to 37 percent of moderates and 25 percent of liberals.

      These divisions also are evident in another measure: Among Americans who say they wanted Trump to win the presidency — 36 percent of the public — a broad 85 percent think he’s in compliance ethically. That drops to just 11 percent of those who wanted Hillary Clinton to win (39 percent of all adults) and a third of those who preferred other candidates, or none of them.

      Despite criticism by some ethics officials, 52 percent overall say Trump’s plan to continue owning his businesses while placing them in a trust managed by his sons is sufficient. Forty-two percent instead say he should sell his businesses, peaking at 71 percent of Clinton supporters, vs. just 10 percent of those who favored Trump for the office.

      Views on tax returns shift decidedly away from Trump’s position. Seventy-four present overall say he should release his tax returns; that includes 49 percent of his own supporters, as well as nearly all of Clinton’s (94 percent) and 83 percent of those who had another preference, or none.

      The number who favor release of the documents is higher than it was in two related questions in ABC/Post polls during the election campaign. In May, 64 percent said he should release the returns, and in September, 63 percent said he was not justified in withholding them.

      In one key support group for Trump, noncollege-educated white men, 58 percent say he should release the tax returns; that rises to 81 percent of college-educated white women and 88 percent of nonwhites. By another measure, 69 percent in the red states — those Trump won — say he should release these records, as do 81 percent in Clinton’s blue states.

      Forty-one percent, overall, say they “care a lot” about Trump releasing the records — 47 percent in the blue states, 36 percent in the states Trump won. At a news conference last week, Trump said: “The only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters.” As far as other Americans, he said: “I don’t think they care at all.”

      Methodology

      This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 12-15, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-37 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

      The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Monica Crowley Steps Away from Position in Trump Administration

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Monica Crowley, who was President-elect Trump’s pick for senior director of strategic communications for his National Security Council, said Monday she will not be taking a position in the Trump Administration.

      “After much reflection, I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” Crowley said in a statement provided to ABC News. “I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”

      Crowley has been under intense scrutiny after reports found more than 50 instances of plagiarism in her 2012 book What The (Bleep) Just Happened, according to CNN, and her 2000 Ph.D. dissertation at Columbia University, according to Politico.

      Trump announced Crowley as his pick for the post mid-December. She was previously a foreign affairs and political analyst for Fox News.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 28 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip Inauguration

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 28 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. While some made their decision in previous weeks, several have come forward Monday, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

      Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

      Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., wrote in a statement that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., and John Conyers, D-Mich., did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements, but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who made up their mind to skip earlier in January, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug-dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future President said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said on Twitter she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will do community organizing in their home districts.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members planning not to attend the inauguration:

      • Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      • Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      • Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      • Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      • Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
      • Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
      • Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      • Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      • Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
      • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      • Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      • Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      • Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
      • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      • Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
      • Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
      • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      • Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
      • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 28 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip Inauguration

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 28 Democratic members of Congress have announced they will skip Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. While some made their decision in previous weeks, several have come forward Monday, citing the president-elect’s perceived insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who protested alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

      Democratic Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both of California, also tweeted they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

      Also, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., wrote in a statement that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin reflected such sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., and John Conyers, D-Mich., did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements, but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who made up their mind to skip earlier in January, the most common reason was an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug-dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future President said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said on Twitter she didn’t believe she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will do community organizing in their home districts.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members planning not to attend the inauguration:

      • Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      • Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      • Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      • Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      • Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA
      • Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL
      • Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      • Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      • Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY
      • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      • Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      • Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      • Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY
      • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      • Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR
      • Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR
      • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      • Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA
      • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Trump’s Inauguration: Standing in for the Incoming President and First Lady at the Rehearsal

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — When you are asked to stand in for the next U.S. president, Donald Trump, it’s worth buying a new red tie.

      That’s what Army Sgt. Major Greg Lowery figured when he was picked to portray the president-elect at an inauguration dress rehearsal. Lowery is a member of the Army band, as is Sara Corry who stood in for future first lady Melania Trump. The goal of the rehearsal at the U.S. Capitol is to practice the order of appearances and events so that the real inauguration goes off without a hitch.

      In their roles as president and first lady, Lowery and Corry descended the U.S. Capitol steps after reviewing the troops. They then got into the “presidential limousine” — actually a silver Suburban since it’s just for practice. Then it was onto the west front of the Capitol where on Friday, the real Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President.

      Although it was a little chilly during Sunday’s rehearsal, the actual inauguration on Friday is expected to be much warmer, with a high in the 50s. There is a chance of rain which would be problematic since umbrellas are not allowed at the podium during the swearing-in.

      The inauguration officially begins on Thursday, Jan.19 with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence and Trump laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. Later that day, there will be a concert at the Lincoln Memorial entitled “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.” Gates will open at 6 a.m. on Friday for security screenings. Jackie Evancho who was a runner-up of America’s Got Talent will sing the National Anthem. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Radio City Rockettes will perform as well.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      Trump’s Inauguration: Standing in for the Incoming President and First Lady at the Rehearsal

      Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — When you are asked to stand in for the next U.S. president, Donald Trump, it’s worth buying a new red tie.

      That’s what Army Sgt. Major Greg Lowery figured when he was picked to portray the president-elect at an inauguration dress rehearsal. Lowery is a member of the Army band, as is Sara Corry who stood in for future first lady Melania Trump. The goal of the rehearsal at the U.S. Capitol is to practice the order of appearances and events so that the real inauguration goes off without a hitch.

      In their roles as president and first lady, Lowery and Corry descended the U.S. Capitol steps after reviewing the troops. They then got into the “presidential limousine” — actually a silver Suburban since it’s just for practice. Then it was onto the west front of the Capitol where on Friday, the real Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President.

      Although it was a little chilly during Sunday’s rehearsal, the actual inauguration on Friday is expected to be much warmer, with a high in the 50s. There is a chance of rain which would be problematic since umbrellas are not allowed at the podium during the swearing-in.

      The inauguration officially begins on Thursday, Jan.19 with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence and Trump laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. Later that day, there will be a concert at the Lincoln Memorial entitled “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.” Gates will open at 6 a.m. on Friday for security screenings. Jackie Evancho who was a runner-up of America’s Got Talent will sing the National Anthem. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Radio City Rockettes will perform as well.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 22 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip Inauguration

      Posted on: January 15th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 19 Democratic members of Congress have announced that they will not attend Donald Trump’s inauguration. While some made their decision in earlier weeks, several have come forward Sunday, citing the president-elect’s insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. ” All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-New York, said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

       

      I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.

      — Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017

       

      Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both D-California also tweeted that they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

       

      “All talk, no action.”

      I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration. pic.twitter.com/z8Q0wA9OPK

      — Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 14, 2017

       

       

      After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.

      — Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) January 15, 2017

       

      In a statement, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, wrote that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan reflected these sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-California, and John Conyers, D-Michigan, did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements, but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who made up their mind to skip earlier in January, the most common reason is an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug-dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future President said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, said on Twitter that she didn’t feel that she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

       

      My statement on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf

      — Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 5, 2017

       

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will do community organizing in their home districts.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members not attending the inauguration:

      • Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      • Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      • Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      • Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      • Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      • Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      • Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      • Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      • Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      • Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI
      • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      At Least 22 Democratic Congress Members Plan to Skip Inauguration

      Posted on: January 15th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — At least 19 Democratic members of Congress have announced that they will not attend Donald Trump’s inauguration. While some made their decision in earlier weeks, several have come forward Sunday, citing the president-elect’s insult of Rep. John Lewis as the final straw.

      Trump lashed out at the civil rights icon after Lewis said he didn’t view Trump as “a legitimate president.” Lewis also said he would not attend the inauguration.

      “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. ” All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

      Trump’s comments have drawn outrage and messages of support for Lewis from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Yvette Clark, D-New York, said in a tweet that she would not attend the inauguration because of the comments, saying “when you insult [John Lewis], you insult America.”

       

      I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.

      — Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017

       

      Reps. Mark Takano and Judy Chu, both D-California also tweeted that they would be absent as a show of solidarity with Lewis.

       

      “All talk, no action.”

      I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration. pic.twitter.com/z8Q0wA9OPK

      — Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 14, 2017

       

       

      After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.

      — Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) January 15, 2017

       

      In a statement, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, wrote that “while [he does] not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, [he] cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

      “Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” Lieu continued. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”

      Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan reflected these sentiments in a statement released Sunday morning.

      “I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of President, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison,” he said. “However, after long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event.”

      Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, D-California, and John Conyers, D-Michigan, did not explicitly mention Lewis in their announcements, but did go public with their decisions on the day of Trump’s tweets.

      Among those who made up their mind to skip earlier in January, the most common reason is an aversion to “normalizing” what they see as Trump’s divisive rhetoric and agenda.

      “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug-dealers and criminals, I want to be able to say I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream; That was not normalized on my watch,” Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said in part in a speech on the House floor. “Because the future President said the American-born children of immigrants were not capable of being American judges, I cannot sit there at his inauguration as if that is OK and I forgive him.”

      Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, said on Twitter that she didn’t feel that she could “contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”

       

      My statement on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf

      — Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 5, 2017

       

      Several of the Congress members plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington; others said they will do community organizing in their home districts.

      The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.

      Below is the full running list of Congress members not attending the inauguration:

      • Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ
      • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-CA
      • Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA
      • Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
      • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
      • Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA
      • Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA
      • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
      • Rep. John Lewis, D-GA
      • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-IL
      • Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA
      • Rep. John Conyers, D-MI
      • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO
      • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY
      • Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY
      • Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
      • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
      • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
      • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI
      • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
      • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA
      • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      CIA Director Warns Trump: Be ‘Very Disciplined’ with Public Remarks

      Posted on: January 15th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a strong message to Donald Trump, the head of the CIA cautioned the president-elect to be “very disciplined” with what he says publicly and recognize his words have an impact on U.S. national security once he takes office.

      “I think Mr. Trump has to be very disciplined in terms of what it is that he says publicly. He is going to be, in a few days’ time, the most powerful person in the world in terms of sitting on top of the United States government and I think he has to recognize that his words do have impact,” CIA Director John Brennan said on Fox News Sunday.

      According to Brennan, “there are many dangers” when a president-elect and the intelligence community are at odds. In recent days, Trump has accused the intelligence community of leaking the unverified 35-page dossier on alleged Trump-Russia relations, even going as far as to compare US intelligence to Nazi Germany.

      Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?

      — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017

      “If he doesn’t have confidence in the intelligence community, what signal does that send to our partners and allies, as well as our adversaries?” Brennan asked.

      Brennan, who reaches the end of his term Friday, also fired back at Trump’s comparison of the U.S. intelligence community to Nazi Germany as “outrageous.”

      “What I do find outrageous is equating the intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” Brennan said. “I do take great umbrage at that, and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly.”

      When asked if Trump understands the threat from Russia, Brennan told Fox News, “I don’t think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intentions, and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world.”

      Brennan added, “Mr. Trump needs to understand that absolving Russia of the various actions it has taken in the past number of years is a road that he, I think, needs to be very, very careful about moving down.”

      The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment on Brennan’s remarks Sunday.

      Twice during the interview, the CIA director stressed that he feels Trump needs to understand that it’s “more than being about him and it’s about the United States and the national security.”

      “He has to make sure that now he’s going to have the opportunity to do something for national security – as opposed to talking and tweeting – he’s going to have tremendous responsibility to make sure that U.S. national security interests are protected and are advanced,” Brennan said.

      Brennan warned, “Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests. And so, therefore, when he speaks, when he reacts, just to make sure he understands that the implications and impact on the United States could be profound.”

      During the interview, he would neither confirm nor deny whether the CIA has information on whether the Trump transition team has had contact with Russia — something the Trump team has denied.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

      CIA Director Warns Trump: Be ‘Very Disciplined’ with Public Remarks

      Posted on: January 15th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

      Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a strong message to Donald Trump, the head of the CIA cautioned the president-elect to be “very disciplined” with what he says publicly and recognize his words have an impact on U.S. national security once he takes office.

      “I think Mr. Trump has to be very disciplined in terms of what it is that he says publicly. He is going to be, in a few days’ time, the most powerful person in the world in terms of sitting on top of the United States government and I think he has to recognize that his words do have impact,” CIA Director John Brennan said on Fox News Sunday.

      According to Brennan, “there are many dangers” when a president-elect and the intelligence community are at odds. In recent days, Trump has accused the intelligence community of leaking the unverified 35-page dossier on alleged Trump-Russia relations, even going as far as to compare US intelligence to Nazi Germany.

      Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?

      — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017

      “If he doesn’t have confidence in the intelligence community, what signal does that send to our partners and allies, as well as our adversaries?” Brennan asked.

      Brennan, who reaches the end of his term Friday, also fired back at Trump’s comparison of the U.S. intelligence community to Nazi Germany as “outrageous.”

      “What I do find outrageous is equating the intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” Brennan said. “I do take great umbrage at that, and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly.”

      When asked if Trump understands the threat from Russia, Brennan told Fox News, “I don’t think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intentions, and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world.”

      Brennan added, “Mr. Trump needs to understand that absolving Russia of the various actions it has taken in the past number of years is a road that he, I think, needs to be very, very careful about moving down.”

      The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment on Brennan’s remarks Sunday.

      Twice during the interview, the CIA director stressed that he feels Trump needs to understand that it’s “more than being about him and it’s about the United States and the national security.”

      “He has to make sure that now he’s going to have the opportunity to do something for national security – as opposed to talking and tweeting – he’s going to have tremendous responsibility to make sure that U.S. national security interests are protected and are advanced,” Brennan said.

      Brennan warned, “Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests. And so, therefore, when he speaks, when he reacts, just to make sure he understands that the implications and impact on the United States could be profound.”

      During the interview, he would neither confirm nor deny whether the CIA has information on whether the Trump transition team has had contact with Russia — something the Trump team has denied.

      Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.