The Note: Trump's confidence belies dwindling base

Polling shows that Trump's base is shrinking.


  • Cameras on (briefly) in Bedminster: President Trump participates in a briefing on the opioid crisis with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
  • Trump waited out the rain with tweets - 13 of them yesterday, fuming over media coverage and attacking Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal. He also boasted that his base was "getting stronger," though the latest polls are leaving that claim drenched.
  • Apply by fax? Trump's Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, ran two small print ads for local job seekers, as company officials sought Labor Department permission to hire 70 foreign temporary workers, The Washington Post reported.
  • McMaster vs Bannon. Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster and presidential adviser Steve Bannon have clashed "loudly and repeatedly" over foreign policy, according to The Associated Press.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein

    It qualifies as a slow day in Bedminster when President Trump is only publicly rooting for The New York Times to go out of business and attacking a U.S. senator as "a phony Vietnam con artist!" The rain may have kept President Trump closer to Twitter, and his new chief of staff may have him toning it down a notch. In any event, some shreds of truth can be divined from the occasional commentary offered by the president – commentary that figures to intensify in coming days. Simply put, the president ("The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever") is wrong, while Kellyanne Conway ("His approval rating among Republicans and conservatives and Trump voters is down slightly") is right. New CNN polling shows Trump's strong approval among Republicans dipping from 73 percent in February to 59 percent in August. Bashing the media? Shredding a Democratic critic? Speaking to his perceived base means following his own instincts – always something of a comfort zone for this president.


    Away from Washington, with the comfort of some miles separating them from the commander-in-chief, a handful of Republican senators this week are speaking their mind. It's no fun to be pointed at and blamed for everything going wrong. In fact, it's "irritating," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a crowd in his home state of Kentucky. It is not surprising that lawmakers would want to stick up for their own work, but McConnell went one step further and said the president and his team were explicitly causing problems and making things more difficult by setting arbitrary, hurried timelines for getting things done. One more item that won't get done? Sen. Marco Rubio said plainly he didn't think the immigration reform bill the president endorsed last week would go anywhere in the Senate. Rubio, who had once stood out in the Republican Party for his bipartisan work on comprehensive immigration reform, told a local Miami TV station: "That bill's not going to pass...I think the White House knows that you don't have 60 votes for that in the Senate." He acknowledged that he supported components of the plan, like moving to a more merit-based system where applicants would get points based on education and skills, but said the White House plan went too far, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks notes.


    "I just don't give a s---. Don't care if I get elected," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to The Charleston Gazette-Mail

    NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam

    How Trump could sink Obamacare. President Donald Trump over the last week has been ramping up his threats to derail the Affordable Care Act. Trump tweeted about the possibility of ending subsidy payments the federal government makes to insurance companies, which reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs for lower-income Americans who buy their own insurance on the individual markets. Under current law, these payments are made to insurance companies to keep prices down.

    Trump to stay in New York for 1st time as president. President Donald Trump will travel to New York City for meetings next week during a 17-day working vacation from Washington, a White House official confirmed Monday. The White House said that Trump will stay overnight at Trump Tower sometime during the "beginning portion" of next week but did not provide additional details about his schedule.

    North Korea promises "thousands-fold" revenge against US over sanctions. North Korea slammed the penalties - which could slash a third of the country's $3 billion in export revenue - as a "violent infringement of its sovereignty" and part of a "heinous U.S. plot to isolate and stifle" the country.

    Trump at 200 days: Declining approval amid widespread mistrust. CNN

    Top Trump aides clashing over direction of US foreign policy. The Associated Press

    Government report finds drastic impact of climate change on U.S. The New York Times

    "May you die in pain": California GOP congressman gets an earful at town hall. The Los Angeles Times

    Marco Rubio says Trump-sponsored immigration bill is "not going to pass." The Miami Herald

    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.