Chaos in the US: Trump in trouble as New Yorkers take to the streets in protest, even as McMaster becomes new national security adviser
About 3000 anti-Trump protesters marched in New York on Monday, February 20, shouting “not my president!”.

Daily Mail reports that they were joined by others in cities across the country as the nation celebrated its Presidents Day holiday.

In a festive mood, demonstrators of all ages and ethnicities gathered in Columbus Circle, in front of Trump International Hotel and near Central Park to voice their dismay with President Donald Trump.

Grassroot Opposition

The protests aim to show grassroots opposition to the Republican president remains fervent one month after his January 20 inauguration.

On Monday, anti-Trump activists took advantage of the federal public holiday, dedicated to US presidents, to organize “Not My Presidents Day” rallies in a number of cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington.

In New York, where the unofficial crowd estimate was 3,000, Rima Strauss, a retired psychotherapist, wore a jean jacket with a button “Not my president” and another one of Putin holding a baby Donald in diapers.

“He’s hurting our country. We’re losing our country if we don’t do something,” Strauss said.

Chaos in the US: Trump in trouble as New Yorkers take to the streets in protest, even as McMaster becomes new national security adviser

“Trump won’t listen to us, but if ordinary people march in the streets, maybe we’ll have some kind of revolution against Trump, I hope.”

Qamar Khan, a 26-year-old medical school student from Pakistan, said he wanted to voice disagreement with Trump.

“We are not protesting. We are Muslims. We want to spread the message of peace and love, true Islam. I do obey President Trump as our president, but I don’t have to agree with his policies.”

One month after his inauguration, President Trump has seen his approval ratings sag and the political divisions of his election deepen.

A new president’s traditional honeymoon? It’s nowhere in sight.

Ratings sag

Trump retains overwhelming support among Republicans. In the latest Pew Research Center poll, 84% of Republicans said they approved of the job Trump was doing as president, comparable to the ratings other newly elected presidents have gotten at this point among their own partisans.

Unlike other new presidents, however, Trump hasn’t expanded his appeal to include those who didn’t help elect him. Just 8% of Democrats approve of the job he’s doing, by far the lowest standing for any modern president from the opposition party.

Overall, Trump’s approval ratings this month in traditional surveys taken by telephone interviewers range from 39% in the Pew Poll to 48% in a Fox News poll. His disapproval ratings range from 56% in Pew to 47% in Fox.

Chaos in the US: Trump in trouble as New Yorkers take to the streets in protest, even as McMaster becomes new national security adviser
The Gallup Poll, which has been measuring newly elected presidents’ standings since Dwight Eisenhower, shows Trump in an historically weak position.

His approval-disapproval rating was 42%-53% in the rolling three-day average posted Monday, up from a low of 38% last week. When he was sworn in last month, he was the first modern president to begin his term with less than majority approval, at 45%.

Trump’s standing has sagged as he prepares to deliver his first address to Congress on Feb. 28 — outlining his legislative agenda for the year — and propose his first federal budget.

A robust rating can increase a president’s political clout while a dismal one can embolden his opponents. And the first year of an administration typically has been the time presidents have had the most success in pushing their most ambitious legislative proposals through Congress.

Trump now faces the familiar demographic divide that defined his election last November, when he won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton:

Women disapprove of the job he’s doing by a wide margin, 63%-33%, in the Pew poll while men are more closely divided: 48% disapprove-45% approve.

Whites narrowly approve of Trump, 49%-46%, while blacks and Hispanics overwhelmingly disapprove, by 79% and 76% respectively.

Voters under 30 disapprove of Trump by 69%-28%. His standing improves as the respondents’ age increases. Those 65 and older split 48% approve-47% disapprove.

To compare, in Election Day surveys of voters as they were leaving polling places, Trump won men by 12 percentage points but lost women by eight. Whites backed him by 19 points but he won the support of only 8% of blacks.

Latinos supported his opponent Hillary Clinton by a more than 2-1 margin. He carried the support among those 50 and older but lost among younger voters, including Millennials by 18 points.

A new national security adviser

President Trump said Monday that retired Gen. H.R. McMaster — a noted writer and intellectual who once headed up a unit dedicated to anticipating future military challenges — will be his new national security adviser, replacing the dismissed Michael Flynn.

Chaos in the US: Trump in trouble as New Yorkers take to the streets in protest, even as McMaster becomes new national security adviser

“You’re going to do a great job,” Trump told McMaster as he made the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump also announced that Keith Kellogg — who had been the acting national security in the week since Flynn was fired — would be McMaster’s chief of staff.

McMaster, described by Trump as “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” is the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, an internal think tank that looks at future threats and how to deal with them. He is also Deputy Commanding General, Futures, at the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.

Thanking Trump for the appointment that does not require Senate confirmation, McMaster told reporters that “I would just like to say what a privilege it is to be able to continue serving our nation. I’m grateful to you for that opportunity, and I look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything that I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people.”

Kellogg also thanked Trump, and said he is “very honored and privileged to serve alongside with H.R. McMaster, … He’s a great statesman, a great Sargent.”

McMaster, viewed as one of the Army’s leading intellects, holds a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

He is a decorated combat veteran whose innovative leadership in counterinsurgency helped secure the restive city of Tal Afar in Iraq from Sunni insurgents in 2005.

McMaster, a protege of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, is also a noted author.

His 1997 book on the Vietnam War — Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam — has been required reading for many national security officials.

McMaster has been calling for a larger and better-equipped Army to face growing threats to national security. The Army, until plans were announced recently to grow the ranks, has been shedding soldiers.

The new national security adviser warned the Senate in testimony last year that the Army had shrunk its ranks too far and lacked the new weaponry it needed to keep pace with U.S. enemies. It been “outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries,” he told a panel of the Armed Services Committee in April.

Advanced weapons mean the Army’s main armored vehicles, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Abrams tank, “will soon be obsolete,” he said. The Army has no plans to replace either vehicle.


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