May 19, 2017

Majority of U.S. disagrees with Trump's Russia leak


A majority of Americans disapprove of President Trump's decision to share sensitive Israeli intelligence with top Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll released Friday.

Why it matters: Trump's decision to divulge that information to Russia has influenced public opinion on how Trump handles classified information. While 41 percent of those surveyed said the incident has left them "not confident at all" in Trump's ability to keep the nation's secrets, 16 percent said they were "not too confident."

Other findings, as detailed by Politico:

  • 58 percent of those surveyed said it was "inappropriate" that Trump shared sensitive information; 22 percent sad his actions were "appropriate"; and 20 percent were undecided.
  • 44 percent said government officials were right to leak details of the meeting to the media, and 39 percent disagreed.
  • 52 percent said they were either "not too confident" or "not confident at all" in Trump's ability to protect the U.S. from terrorism.
  • 50 percent disapproved of Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey after learning the president asked him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.
  • 53 percent disapprove of Trump's overall performance so far, and 41 percent approve.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post on Feb. 28, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health