Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is social media editor for TPM in New York City. She graduated from City College, where she was editor-in-chief of The Campus, and has previously interned and written for MSF and Contently. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Esme

President Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that his approval numbers are “very good,” though a poll released the same day shows that Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president approaching their 100-day mark in office since 1945.

“New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Trump cited an ABC News-Washington Post poll released on Sunday as proof of his standing. That poll found that 96 percent of respondents who voted for Trump in November said it was the right thing to do, while only 2 percent of Trump voters regretted their decision.

According to ABC’s writeup, however, Trump also has “the lowest approval rating at this point of any president in polls since 1945.”

Just 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s performance as he approaches his 100th day in office, according to the national survey, while 53 percent disapprove.

The ABC-Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone from April 17–20 among a national sample of 1,004 adults. Respondents were interviewed in both English and Spanish, and the margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

President Donald Trump appeared to downplay expectations for the 100th day of his presidency in an interview with the Associated Press published on Sunday.

“It’s an artificial barrier. It’s not very meaningful,” Trump told the Associated Press.

In the interview, Trump also appeared to suggest that the “100-day action plan” he unveiled in the last days before the election was not actually his idea.

“Somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan,” he told the Associated Press.

Trump will likely reach the 100-day mark of his own presidency without a single notable piece of legislation under his belt.


Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sunday on Sunday brushed off backlash to his comments referring “an island in the Pacific” — known to most as Hawaii — by complaining that “nobody has a sense of humor anymore.”

“Why not just call it the state of Hawaii?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Sessions on “This Week.”

“Nobody has a sense of humor anymore,” Sessions said.

Sessions said he thought a federal judge from Hawaii made “a mistake” by blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from a handful of majority-Muslim countries.

“This order is lawful. It’s within his authority constitutionally and explicit statutory authority,” Sessions said. “And so you do have a situation in which one judge out of 700 in America has stopped this order.”

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson blocked a revised version of the order hours before it was set to go into effect.

Sessions on Wednesday said he was “amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States.”

The state’s Democratic senators quickly hit back. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on Thursday called Session’s remarks “ignorant & dangerous” and noted that Hawaii “has been the 50th state for going on 58 years.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) urged Sessions to “have some respect.”

Hawaii state Attorney General Doug Chin on Thursday called Sessions’ remarks “disappointing” and said Sessions appeared “to dismiss a federal judge in Hawaii as just a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.”

In a statement released Thursday, the Justice Department said that “Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific.”

On Friday, Sessions defended his remarks as “perfectly correct.”

“I wasn’t diminishing the judge or the island of Hawaii, that beautiful place,” he said. “Give me a break.”

CNN host and former Fox News reporter Alisyn Camerota on Sunday said that former Fox chairman Roger Ailes sexually harassed her when she worked for the network.

“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” Camerota said in an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

She said Ailes “was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say.”

“I think that many of us experienced that,” she said. “He would talk about body parts. He would say ‘Give me a spin.’ He would want to be greeted with a hug.”

Camerota said that when she began working at Fox News, she met with Ailes in his office.

“I was saying that I wanted more opportunity,” she said. “He said ‘Well, I would have to work with you. I would have to work with you on that case. I would have to work with you really closely, and it may require us getting to know each other better, and that might have to happen away from here, and it might have to happen at a hotel. Do you know what I’m saying?'”

Camerota said she replied to Ailes: “Yeah, I think I do know what you’re saying.”

“I knew, in my head at that moment, I’m never going to that hotel under any circumstances,” she said.

After that exchange, Camerota said, Ailes “targeted” her and said she “wasn’t reflecting the conservative agenda.” She called it “emotional harassment.”

“He and I had a lot of interaction, and sometimes arguments. Sometimes he would lecture me. Sometimes he would insult me,” she said. “Towards the end, I started refusing to go to Roger’s office.”

Ailes left Fox News in July 2016 amid a corporate probe into several sexual harassment claims against him. In January, the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox announced it had agreed to pay $20 million to former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes.

Camerota said that former Fox host Bill O’Reilly’s ouster last week amid sexual harassment allegations against him was one of the reasons she decided to come forward.

“If I take the Murdochs at their word, they really want to know what was wrong there and what the culture was like,” she said. “I don’t know how you get that from silence, so it feels like this might be the right time to just have this conversation and let some daylight in.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Sunday dodged questions about whether he wants President Donald Trump to campaign for his re-election in 2018.

“You’re in a tough seat,” Dana Bash asked Issa on “State of the Union,” per CNN’s transcript. “Would you want President Trump to come to your district and campaign for you?”

“I was with Secretary Kelly,” Issa replied, referring to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

“But the President?” Bash pressed.

“I was with Secretary Kelly, who is one of his greater appointments,” Issa said. “And I was happy to have him.”

President Donald Trump on Sunday took a vague tack to explaining how exactly he plans to get Mexico to pay for his proposed wall along the United States’ southern border.

On the campaign trail, Trump often pledged to crowds at his rallies that he would “build a great great wall” and “have Mexico pay for that wall.”

On Sunday, however, Trump tweeted that Mexico would pay “eventually,” “at a later date” and “in some form” for his proposed wall. He did not specify a specific date or schedule for that payment, and did not say what kind of remuneration it would entail.

In March, the White House requested more than $1 billion from Congress to begin construction.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sunday nevertheless insisted that Trump will get the wall “paid for one way or the other.”

“There are a lot of ways we can find money to help pay for this,” Sessions said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

Members of Congress on Sunday agreed: It would be irresponsible of President Donald Trump and Republicans to precipitate a government shutdown by refusing to back down on demands for funding for Trump’s proposed border wall.

Top White House aides signaled uncertainty on Sunday as to whether Trump would sign a must-pass spending bill that did not include funding for his proposed border wall. If Congress does not pass the bill, the federal government will shut down at midnight on April 28 as the calendar flips to Trump’s 100th day in office.

“I would suspect he’ll do the right thing for sure, but I would suspect he will be insistent on the funding,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Saturday.

“I’m pretty confident we’re going to get something that’s satisfactory to the President,” White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday was more equivocal.

“We don’t know yet,” he said.

“The Democrats do not support the wall, and I think that the Republicans on the border states do not support the wall,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

She called Trump’s proposed wall “immoral, expensive, unwise.”

“When the President says, ‘Well, I promised a wall during my campaign,’ I don’t think he said he was going to pass billions of dollars of cost of the wall onto the taxpayer,” Pelosi said.

She said Republicans are responsible for coming up with a spending bill that can pass Congress and avert a government shutdown.

“The Republicans have the votes in the House and the Senate and the White House to keep government open,” Pelosi said. “The burden to keep it open is on the Republicans.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on CNN’s “State of the Union” called Trump’s push to include funding for the proposed wall in the spending bill a “political stunt, an obsession for the President that should not shut down the government.”

“We told the President and the Republicans weeks ago, don’t try any political stunts, don’t put any poison pills into this process,” he said on Sunday. “Let’s just do our responsible, important work of funding this government.”

Durbin said it “would be the height of irresponsibility” for Trump to “consider shutting down the government of the United States of America over this outlandish proposal.”

“I hope the President will back off,” Durbin said. “He would not want that to define his first 100 days.”

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) on “State of the Union” said Sunday it would not be worth shutting the government down over funding for Trump’s budget wall.

“I think there are still questions about, wait a minute, this is a guy that said the Mexicans were going to pay for it,” Sanford said.

“Do you think that wall is worth shutting the government down over?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked.

“No,” Sanford said. “And I don’t think there will be a government shutdown.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sunday said that “one way or the other” President Donald Trump will get funding for his proposed border wall.

“There are a lot of ways we can find money to help pay for this,” Sessions said on ABC’s “This Week.”

He said “there are other things” Trump could implement at the border to “create revenue that would pay for the wall.”

“There’s no doubt about that,” Sessions said. “We’re going to get it paid for one way or the other.”

Asked if Trump would sign off on a spending bill that didn’t include funding for the wall, Sessions said: “He’ll make those decisions.”

“I’m not engaged in the budget negotiations,” he said. “I believe Congress will eventually deliver.”

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said the White House is just “asking for our priorities” in a spending bill which Congress must pass to prevent a government shutdown on President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office.

“We are asking for our priorities and, importantly, we are offering to give Democrats some of their priorities as well,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mulvaney cited an offer he made to Democratic lawmakers last week for “$1 of CSR payments for $1 of wall payments,” referring to cost-sharing reduction payments, which are Obamacare subsidies to insurers.

“We think we have given them a reasonable set of choices that they want in exchange for what we want,” he said. “The negotiations are not finished yet.”

Mulvaney said a government shutdown if Congress fails to pass a spending bill is “not a desired end.”

“I don’t think anybody is trying to get to a shutdown,” he said. “I don’t think anybody foresees or expects or wants a shutdown at the end of next week.”

Asked whether Trump would sign a spending bill that didn’t include funding for his proposed border wall, however, Mulvaney said: “We don’t know yet.”

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) on Sunday said that President Donald Trump’s threats to support primary challengers against members of Congress who don’t vote for his legislative agenda are “counterproductive.”

“He sent as his emissary Mick Mulvaney, who I’ve known for a long time,” Sanford said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

“He said, ‘The President hopes you vote against this, because he wants to run somebody against you if you do,'” Sanford said.

He said Trump has “made those kinds of threats to any number of different members within the conference.”

“You know, it all I guess fits in love, war and politics,” Sanford said. “But I don’t think it’s particularly productive to his own legislative agenda, and we’ll see what comes.”

“I don’t work for him,” he added, referring to Trump. “I work for about 750,000 people in the first congressional district.”