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Opinion Morning Bits: Trump’s rotten week

Michael Cohen is accompanied by his children as he arrives at federal court in Manhattan for his sentencing on Wednesday. (Craig Ruttle/AP)
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Proximity to President Trump is rotten for his associates' standing. “’The CNN poll released Thursday finds the first lady’s favorability at 43 percent, a sharp drop-off from 54 percent in October.” Was it the red Christmas trees?

Among the rotten things Trump is contemplating: “The Trump administration is resuming its efforts to deport certain protected Vietnamese immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades — many of them having fled the country during the Vietnam War. This is the latest move in the president’s long record of prioritizing harsh immigration and asylum restrictions, and one that’s sure to raise eyebrows — the White House had hesitantly backed off the plan in August before reversing course.” Just shameful.

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His rotten excuses won’t work if he ever gets into court. “Mr. Trump said that [Michael Cohen] had pleaded guilty to the charges in order to embarrass him and to get a reduced prison term. The president also dismissed the seriousness of lying to investigators — a federal crime that could lead to up to five years in prison.” He is, at least for now, the head of the executive branch.

He does a rotten job sticking to one defense story. “The president first denied advance knowledge of the payments but has since shifted his position to state that even if he was aware of the payments, they had nothing to do with the election. Trump’s prior claims that the payments were not intended to sway the election conflict with Cohen’s statements as well as a non-prosecution deal between federal prosecutors and American Media Inc., the publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer, which coordinated the hush-money payment to [Karen] McDougal.”

Rotten state TV, more like it. S.E. Cupp on Trump’s latest softball interview with Fox News: “It was an infomercial allowing the president to provide his evidence. ‘See, look what this paper says, and look what this person says.’ To ask the president how he feels about his good approval numbers. I mean, I watched the whole interview. It wasn’t journalism. That was an infomercial.”

Republicans are in a rotten spot. Gosh, if only Congress were an equal branch of government. “President Donald Trump isn’t doing Congress any favors when it comes to figuring out how to avoid a partial government shutdown in nine days. ‘I don’t know what his plan is,’ John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told CNN Thursday, as Congress searches for a budget resolution that appeases both Trump and the handful of Senate Democrats needed for passage.”

Was it rotten staff work? Was he scared of Trump? He could have withheld his approval. “After Voting for Tax Law, [Marco] Rubio Slams It for Helping Corporations Over Workers.” Good grief.