Trump Supporters Don’t Care

Russia, obstructions of justice, tariffs and dead migrant children; four in ten Americans don’t seem to care.

Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump joked he could shoot somebody on New York’s Fifth Avenue and not lose voters.

His racism, his ignorance of policy, his shambolic business career and two dozen allegations of sexual misconduct (which he denied in public but admitted to in what he thought was a private conversation) didn’t move voters.

Three years later, the transgressions have only become more serious, but most Republicans still don’t care.

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded after a two-year investigation that Russia really did interfere in the 2016 election to help Trump. Although he could not prove conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign, it wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm on either side. Russia repeatedly reached out to campaign officials and members of Trump’s inner circle, including his eldest son and his son-in-law, had no reservations about accepting what they believed would be Russian help to defeat Hillary Clinton.
  • Mueller did not press obstruction-of-justice charges, but not for lack of evidence. In fact, he found many instances in which Trump had tried to frustrate the investigation, but at key moments his underlings refused to carry out his orders. (It is also the Justice Department’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted.)
  • Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin are refusing to share the unredacted Mueller report and the president’s tax returns with Congress.
  • Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, planned to ask a foreign government (Ukraine) to investigate a political rival (Joe Biden), only to cancel those plans at the last minute on Friday.
  • Yet another prominent Trump supporter has been arrested.
  • Trump has again raised tariffs on Chinese imports and still falsely claims that China, not American consumers, will pay the costs.
  • The Departments of Defense and Homeland Security are led by acting secretaries. Trump is on track to have the highest turnover rate in his cabinet of any modern president.
  • Three immigrant children have died in custody since Trump instituted his family-separation policy.

40 percent of the country doesn’t care. Trump’s approval rating is almost exactly where it was at the beginning of his presidency.