President Donald Trump sees his poll numbers as the same thing as television ratings, according to panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Host Joe Scarborough and others shared anecdotes showing the president’s obsession with poll numbers and TV ratings, and his compulsion to push back when those popularity metrics are challenged.
“You have to to think back to that period you just described, 2015-2016, when reporters would go up to the 26th floor of Trump Tower,” said Washington Post reporter Robert Costa. “President Trump would have all these framed ratings from ‘The Apprentice’ in picture frames on the wall. He would use the phrase ratings, and he would interchange it with the discussion of polling. He would say, ‘My ratings are doing really well.'”
“This is back in 2015,” Costa added. “We’d say what do you mean by your ratings? He meant his polling. Polling to him is connected in an almost personal way to his own popularity and status. He’s sensitive to polling because he sees it as political ratings. That’s why people in his inner circle are reluctant to give him bad polling information, because he takes it in that way. He doesn’t just take it as data, he takes it as a reflection of his own popularity, but he does want to see the data.”
Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski recalled how Trump used to brag to them about his NBC reality show.
“He used to send us ratings and circle stuff and write little notes to us,” Brzezinski said.
“On the back side of ‘The Apprentice’s’ success, he will still fax us ratings: ‘No. 1 again! Donald,'” Scarborough added. “You look at the ratings and it would be, like, 17. I’d hand it to Mika. Do you get this? I don’t understand this, and it’s so funny. I don’t know what year it was. Maybe it was in 2011 or 2012, but it was the end of a remarkable run. But we could not figure out how he was saying he was No. 1. There are a lot of people that will tell you this story, he would fax it around, ‘Still still No. 1.'”
Sam Stein, senior politics editor at HuffPost, recalled a time when Trump chafed at a tweet criticizing his appearance on “The View.”
“During the height of his birther story stuff, he went on ‘The View’ or something, and I put out some random tweet (asking), is this all like theater or does he actually believe this stuff?” Stein said. “About a week later I got a piece of mail from him, printed-out tweet, scribbled all over by him, ‘We’ll never know but it sure is great ratings.'”
Brzezinski noted that Trump couldn’t even win his time slot by personally promoting TV interviews.
“Sunday night’s ABC News special that the president personally promoted on social media turned out to be a ratings bust,” she said. “The show was third in its Sunday nighttime slot with 3.91 million viewers, a sharp drop from the week before, when ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ pulled in 6.1 million viewers. So he didn’t get the ratings.”
“Well,” Stein said. “It’s the ‘Feud,’ man.”
“Come on,” Scarborough agreed. “Gee, it’s the ‘Feud.'”
Republican staffer caught spying on Democrats during Judiciary Committee meetings
A Republican staffer from the Ways and Means committee was caught spying on Democrats during their work over the weekend.
According to a Judiciary Committee source, the female staffer was ultimately discovered and ran out of the committee room once it was discovered she was there, tweeted Olivia Beavers, a writer at "The Hill."
"A Judiciary source says the committee, which has been practicing for their Monday impeachment hearing this whole weekend, came across a female GOP Ways and Means staffer in the hearing room today, but that she ran out once discovered," she tweeted.
New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn’t do anything wrong — why he won’t let witnesses testify
The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.
While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.
"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."
Former Republican Congressman admits he ‘can’t explain’ Ted Cruz: ‘You’d think he’d have more self-respect’
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday to perpetuate the false narrative that Ukraine hacked the 2016 election, a fact that has been disproven by all of the U.S. intelligence agencies. When asked to explain what Cruz could possibly have been thinking, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) confessed he has no idea how to explain Cruz.
"So, Charlie, what's going on here?" asked CNN host Fredricka Whitfield.