WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Twitter Monday attacked polls showing his immigrant and refugee travel ban was not popular as “fake news.”
After a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump on Monday flies from Palm Beach to Tampa, for a briefing from U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command and then lunch with soldiers. He will also meet with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and then head back to Washington.
A big story kicking off the week will be court challenges to Trump’s travel ban. Briefs are due on Monday at the West Coast-based United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Over the weekend, a group of almost 100 tech companies filed a friend of the court brief arguing, among other things, the Trump’s order “disrupts ongoing business operations.”
The travel ban triggered polling. That’s the subject of two early morning Twitter posts from Trump.
“I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!” 7:07 a.m. ET
“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.” 7:01 a.m. ET
Backstory: Trump is going for the double play here: he wants to continue his campaign to discredit journalism and also wants to discredit polling, now that he is taking some big hits on his travel ban and popularity.
Polls from a variety of news outlets show that the temporary travel ban Trump imposed on people from seven majority Muslim nations is either not supported by a majority or Americans or respondents are divided on it based on their party affiliation.
Last year, during the primary season, Trump did not challenge the validity of the polls when they showed him ahead; indeed his polling strength was a part of his stump speech.
Still, the polling business took a big hit after the general election for not clearing showing the trends that would lead to Trump beating Hillary Clinton – though she did win the popular vote.
The question will be, of course, how Trump will react when polls show some action he has taken has popular support.
Polling also shows Trump with low approval ratings as he starts his third week in office.