US opinion remains divided and entrenched
If taking both sides of the position, the plan at that stage would be to reinvest the survival profits into either the nomination or presidency market. For clarification of this strategy, either check out these notes at the end of the earlier piece, or feel free to get in touch via Twitter. My call is that by early , we will have the option to cash out for profit. Trump's approval rating has improved slightly this year but remains firmly underwater, as it has since the primaries.
If you expected good economic figures or the Helsinki summit would spark a shift in either direction, think again. Public opinion remains fixed and divided.
For detailed evidence of America's fierce political divide, check out Yougov's latest extensive poll , covering attitudes towards foreign countries, particularly Russia, and a wide range of prominent political figures. So what is coming down the tracks, and what effect if any could they have on public opinion?
Well there is one surefire way of spotting a looming drama - follow Trump's tweets. We cannot know what particularly prompts each outburst but educated guessers will point to the legal peril facing prominent members of Trumpworld. Former campaign manager Paul Manafort's trial starts tomorrow, facing a penal jail sentence. His deputy Rick Gates will be a key witness and the accusations of prolific bank fraud, money laundering and tax evasion are explosive to say the least.
This process will likely establish a backdrop of deep corruption, involving various Putin-backed Ukranian politicians. Then there's Michael Cohen. In a key development, the Trump Org's Chief Financial Officer - whose relationship dates back to father Fred - has been subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury.
Opponents expect, at least, long-hidden details of finances and tax returns to be revealed. For his part, Cohen has evidently switched sides, teaming up with Clintonite lawyer Lanny Davis, sharing tapes that implicate the President and accusing him of being present at, and therefore lying about, the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians.
Cohen will either face ruinous charges or flip , although his credibility as a witness will inevitably be questioned. Like Manafort, the details may leave a damaging, corrupt impression without necessarily being a gamechanger. The case of Maria Butina, however, very well might. If anyone doubts the determination of the Mueller investigation, consider the timing of recent indictments.
Whilst Trump was meeting the Queen, anticipating blanket media coverage, Mueller ensured headlines were shared with detailed indictments of 12 named Russian agents for interfering with the election. The gauntlet was laid down to Trump, just days before his meeting with Putin.
Nobody expects those Russian agents to face trial on US soil but the Justice Department followed up with a hugely significant arrest. Maria Butina is in custody, charged with failing to register as a foreign agent. She is alleged to have infiltrated the NRA to gain influence with Republican politicians, on behalf of Russian oligarch backers.
To see why this could be different from all the other scandals to engulf Teflon Trump, check out that Yougov poll. However among Independents, a small majority disagree. The evidence already in the public domain strongly suggests the trials will prove both accusations beyond reasonable doubt.
Furthermore while Trump voters stayed loyal post-Helskinki, they are hardly embracing Putin and US public opinion towards their historic enemy remains negative. Russia is not the only scandal set to engulf Trump. There is Stormy Daniels and dozens of other accusers. He is facing an emoluments case which some legal experts believe will prove his greatest threat. There are longstanding links to mob figures. Drip by drip, this legal exposure will entrench the perception of a deeply corrupt president.
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