— -- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein
It's a dismal set of numbers, six months in. President Trump is pronouncing them to be "not bad at this time." He's wrong as a historical matter, though not necessarily as a practical one. The president's 36 percent approval rating in the new ABC-Post poll means he has his base, and that's basically it. That's how he is choosing to govern, with a slashing style and regular outrages - as perceived by all those who have been loyal throughout. He is both governing and communicating as if the other two-thirds of the country don't matter, or matter less than those who elected him. Or maybe he's just banking on the rest of the country's getting used to the deception and misdirection, now that the president's lawyer told ABC News' Jonathan Karl on "This Week" Sunday that Trump views Robert Mueller's probe as part of the "witch hunt" he often tweets about. Reading the poll based on how Trump's inner circle does, the president enjoys an 82 percent approval rating among Republicans, pointing toward a motivated base and a Republican Party that's not going to quickly abandon his legislative efforts. (How much does he need a strong economy in his equation?) What the president won't sweat? The 63 percent of Americans who think Don Jr.'s meeting with Russians was inappropriate, or the 70 percent who view the president's own behavior as "unpresidential."
INTRODUCING "THE BRIEFING ROOM"
For more expert insight, check out "The Briefing Room," where Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega and the rest of the ABC News politics team will be analyzing the White House press briefings LIVE starting this week. You can catch "The Briefing Room" on ABCNews.com, the ABC News app and ABC News' Facebook and YouTube pages.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF HEALTH CARE
Increasingly, Sen. John McCain seemed isolated on the Hill. His critiques of the Trump administration and congressional leadership had become routine and a little less potent. There was no bipartisan budget deal yet, he lamented, no "consensus" about how to repeal and replace Obamacare. He seemed discouraged. In Washington, the conventional wisdom is that his absence from the Hill this week is bad for GOP prospects of passing health care legislation. (With the Arizona senator, 80, recovering from surgery at home, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to bump back a health care vote.) Maybe it's true that the more time that passes before this latest version of the bill moves ahead, the more likely it is for it to stall all together. But perhaps lawmakers this week, as they wish McCain well, will pause for a little "WWJD?" What John would do would be to try to figure it out. Try to end the circular fighting. Sit down and make a plan that finally had some consensus, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks writes.
NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam
Secret Service dismisses Trump lawyer's claim about Russia meeting. The U.S. Secret Service pushed back on an assertion one of President Donald Trump's lawyers made on "This Week" Sunday that the agency should have prevented Russians from meeting last year with the president's eldest son. The agency said Donald Trump Jr. wasn't "under its protection in June 2016" and they didn't "screen anyone he was meeting with at that time." http://abcn.ws/2uyJOxl
"We can't accept anything Don Jr. says" about Russia meeting: Schiff. Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said, "[they] can't accept anything Don Jr. says" about his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer. "To accept [Jay Sekulow's] representation that no crime was committed here, you have to accept Don Jr's representations. We've already seen many times we can't rely on that," Schiff said during an appearance on "This Week" Sunday. "Of course, we can't accept much the president says about this either." http://abcn.ws/2uxyIIW
GOP bill would "jeopardize" nursing homes, rural hospitals: Collins. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on "This Week" Sunday that the Republican health care legislation would "jeopardize the very existence of our rural hospitals and our nursing homes" because of its extensive cuts to Medicaid. http://abcn.ws/2tu81jH
Trump lawyer says president believes Mueller investigation is part of "witch hunt." Jay Sekulow said on "This Week" he does not believe the president will have to testify under oath to special counsel Robert Mueller. http://abcn.ws/2unV4Mz
@ReutersZengerle: Trump spox asked if "Made in America" week wld include a push for Ivanka to sell products made in the US. "We'll get back to you on that."
@mateagold: EXCLUSIVE: She talks about working women. Her father says "buy American." We go inside Ivanka Inc. w/@drewharwell http://wapo.st/2tZCM1F
@leloveluck: President Trump promised to "bomb the shit out of ISIS". And now the human cost? Civilian casualties set to double. http://thebea.st/2v7xRvH
@MeghanMcCain: Thank you to everyone for all your well wishes to my father and family. I'm here in Arizona with him - he is doing very well, fiery as ever.
@whca: Congratulations to @jonkarl of ABC News, elected today to be 3-year term on board of of White House Correspondents' Association #WHCA
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.