A Gallup poll released Friday shows that the president-elect “continues to garner historically low approval for his transition performance,” with 51 percent of the public disapproving and just 44 percent approving—a significant decline from a month earlier, when Americans were evenly divided, 48 percent to 48 percent. Even more embarrassing for Trump, his ratings are vastly inferior to his predecessors’. Barack Obama had 83 percent approval for his transition in early January of 2009, George W. Bush had 61 percent at the same time in 2001, and Bill Clinton had 68 percent in 1993.
It’s not just Trump’s approval ratings, either. The president-elect already has personnel problems. “In their first week of grilling before congressional panels, Mr. Trump’s cabinet nominees broke with him on almost every major policy that has put Mr. Trump outside Republican orthodoxy,” The New York Times reported Thursday. Trump certainly put on a good face for Twitter Friday—“All of my Cabinet nominee [sic] are looking good and doing a great job. I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!”—but these Capitol Hill performances suggest a cabinet of chaos.
The Russia controversy is intensifying. The awkwardness with congressional Republicans continues unabated. And as Richard W. Painter, George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005-2007, wrote in the Times on Thursday, Trump has utterly failed to disentangle himself from his business empire:
Trump will be in violation of the Constitution as of next Friday with respect to, among other things, loans from foreign-government-controlled banks, leases of Trump office space to foreign-government-controlled companies, foreign governments and diplomats renting rooms in Trump hotels and any investments that are made alongside foreign sovereign wealth funds.
In other words, Trump will be a law-breaking president on day one. Put on your seatbelt, America.