Americans Concerned About Trump’s Ethics as Inauguration Approaches

Americans Concerned About Trump's Ethics as Inauguration Approaches

As President-elect Trump prepares to take office, new polls show the public is uneasy about his ethics and about three-fourths of Americans want him to release his tax returns

New President Popularity Has Dipped Since Election Day

An uneasy Washington is back to work today after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday break and amid quickening preparations for Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Trump will take office as the least popular new President in at least four decades, the Washington Post reported, citing a new poll. The President-elect took to Twitter this morning to denounce the pollsters. “The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before,” he declared.

Another poll, this one by CNN, largely mirrored the Post’s findings however. It said Trump will take office with a 40 percent approval rating, 44 points less than Barack Obama’s rating when he was inaugurated in 2009.

The Post poll indicates that voters are particularly troubled about the intelligence community’s finding that Russia hacked into Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails and leaked the results in an attempt to help Trump win the election; 54 percent said they disapprove of Trump’s response to the hacking reports.

Voters also continue to be unhappy with Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns – 74 percent said he should make them public – and are evenly divided on whether he and his family and advises are adhering to federal ethics laws. A slight majority, 52 percent, say Trump’s announced plan to turn management of his far-flung businesses over to his sons is sufficient to avoid conflicts of interest; Common Cause and a bipartisan collection of ethics experts have called on Trump to put his assets in a blind trust.

Other democracy headlines:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is dismissing as “total nonsense” reports on a Trump dossier alleging that Russian intelligence operatives have obtained information about Trump’s finances and personal life that could be used to blackmail the incoming American leader.
  • Ethics questions have prompted Monica Crowley, a Fox News analyst, to withdraw her acceptance of Trump’s offer to serve as director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. Her decision came after reports she plagiarized portions of her 2012 book, “What the (Bleep) Just Happened,” and her PhD dissertation.
  • Tom Price, the President-elect’s nominee to serve a Secretary of Health and Human Services, is facing allegations that he engaged in insider training following a report that he bought shares in a medical device company last year and less than a week later introduced legislation to help the company.
  • A growing list of Democratic lawmakers are planning to boycott Friday’s inauguration following the President-elect’s Twitter attack over the weekend on Georgia Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement. Lewis on Friday told NBC he views Trump’s election as “illegitimate,” citing reports that Russia tried to help Trump by hacking the Hillary Clinton campaign’s computer systems. Trump responded with Tweets that called Lewis’ Atlanta district “crime infested” and said the congressman is “all talk, no action.” Lewis was nearly beaten to death by police in Alabama in the 1960s simply for participating in peaceful civil rights marches.