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Day 637

Updated 10/18/2018 11:34 AM PDT

1/ Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will give Saudi Arabia "a few more days" to investigate the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi while the Trump administration and the Saudi royal family look for an explanation that doesn't implicate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Pompeo said the Saudis could be trusted to "conduct a complete, thorough investigation," because they "made a personal commitment to me, and the Crown Prince also made a personal commitment to the president." Asked if his administration was trying to give the Saudis room to come up with an explanation absolving Mohammed, Trump said: "I'm not giving cover at all. They are an ally." (NBC News / Washington Post / Politico / CNN)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Interactive and constantly updating from FiveThirtyEight

Disapprove Trump - 52.2 %
Approve 42.6 %

FYI on this tracking

Therefore, we’ve launched an interactive to track Trump’s job approval and disapproval ratings. Although the topline results are fairly similar to other approval-rating averages such as the ones from Real Clear Politics and Huffington Post Pollster — we currently have Trump’s approval rating at 43 percent and his disapproval rating at 52 percent — our version has a few extra features that add a bit of rigor and make it uniquely FiveThirtyEight-ish:

As with our election forecasts, we use almost all polls but weight them based on their methodological standards and historical accuracy.
We adjust polls for house effects if they consistently show different results from the polling consensus.
And we account for uncertainty, estimating the fairly wide range within which Trump’s approval ratings could vary over the next 100 days. (This is what’s indicated by the green and orange bands on the chart.)


Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump


Emmet Flood takes over as the interim WH lawyer after McGahn’s departure Wed.

October 18 at 4:26 PM

Emmet T. Flood, a White House lawyer who has been helping handle the special-counsel investigation into Russian election interference, has taken over the role of White House counsel on a temporary basis.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the move Thursday. Flood assumed the position following the departure Wednesday of Donald McGahn, whose tenure as White House counsel was marked by a significant reshaping of the federal judiciary but also clashes with President Trump over the ongoing special-counsel probe.

Flood will serve in the position until McGahn’s permanent replacement, veteran Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone, comes on board, Sanders said.


Weeks ago, after it became clear McGahn would be leaving, Trump considered hiring Flood for the job permanently but ultimately decided to let him focus on his current task related to the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.


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