We Asked About Kanye in Our Latest Poll, and the Results Are Not Positive: Ye's has a 23% approval rating, and other findings

Friday, May 11, 2018
President Donald Trump rallies the crowd Thursday night in Elkhart, Indiana. Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani's Law Firm is Like "Nope, No, Not Quite, No": "We cannot speak for Mr. Giuliani."

Dress Like the First Lady: She *does* wear things more than once.

We Asked About Kanye West in Poll, and the Results Are Not Positive: Ye has a 23% approval rating and other findings.

Kate Bennett

What the White House Is Talking About:
This afternoon from the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump is to deliver remarks about lowering drug prices. Afterward, he has a closed press meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

What the White House Press Corps Is Talking About:
White House chief of staff John Kelly's interview on NPR, which was released Thursday night and aired today on "Morning Edition." 

Kelly's Comments:
After a few weeks of relative obscurity and rumors of a flare-up in his relationship with the President, Kelly went on NPR, not exactly the core MAGA listening sector, but oh well. During the interview he made some questionable comments (I think) about immigrants. The following is long, but I think you're going to want to read it. 
Credit: @GeoffRBennett/Twitter

Kelly also discussed Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and its impact on the Trump White House and the President himself: "It may not be a cloud, but certainly the President is somewhat embarrassed, frankly." Something tells me the boss won't be pleased with that comment -- embarrassment could be interpreted as a sign weakness, and that's not a shade Trump wears. 

A White House Communications Person Has Terrible Communication Judgment:
I'm not going to give this story a lot of space because it's bad all around. Just a quick note and reminder for everyone to be smarter, more empathetic and, above all, kind. 

Rudy Giuliani's Law Firm is Like "Nope, No, Not Quite, No":
The folks who run Greenberg Traurig, the law firm that until this week was associated with Rudy Giuliani, has come out publicly to rebuke the activities that the former New York mayor claimed in recent interviews are no big deal -- like, making secret payments to cover things up. "We cannot speak for Mr. Giuliani with respect to what was intended by his remarks," a spokeswoman for the law firm said in a statement. "Speaking for ourselves, we would not condone payments of the nature alleged to have been made or otherwise without the knowledge and direction of a client."
AT&T Also Putting Distance Between Itself and Michael Cohen:
In the wake of allegations that Michael Cohen aggressively pitched his proximity to the President to clients, one of the companies that signed up Trump's personal attorney as a consultant is saying the move was not a smart one. "AT&T hiring Micheal Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake," CEO Randall Stephenson said this morning. "To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate. But the fact is, our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment." Cohen made $600,000 working for AT&T before it terminated his contract in December, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN. 

Wolff on the Town: 
This week I made a rare social appearance in support of one of my idols, Joanna Coles, the former fashion magazine editor badass who is now boss lady or chief content officer at Hearst Magazines overseeing multiple titles. Coles just wrote a great and helpful book called "Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World" that she told me is sort of like advice your grandmother would give you about dating if she lived during the age of Tinder. There are helpful Coles-esque tips such as what to wear when you actually meet the guy/girl you've been texting: "Do not wear the thing that fit you last year and will fit you again when you lose those eight pounds." Trust me, the book is lit. 

There was a small book party with Coles this week at Del Mar at the new wharf development (which, as it turns out *is* worth the drive) attended by a relatively small and fashionable (🙋🏼) crowd of Coles' friends and fans. One of the first to arrive? This guy, Michael Wolff. I took the pic below during the toasts to Coles (who is standing next to Sally Quinn), and I know it's not great of her, but I was trying to be stealth. Wolff, who wrote the White House tell-all "Fire and Fury," is apparently hanging out a bit more in DC these days, perhaps gathering intel for a sequel. ... 
Credit: Kate Bennett

Dress Like the First Lady:
I'm doing this one, not because the clothes are still available, because they're not exactly, but more to illustrate that Melania Trump *does* wear things more than once. Lots of critics accuse her of not repeating outfits -- the same happened with Michelle Obama -- but it happens more often than one might think. This week, the first lady wore two looks that she'd been photographed in before. For the Military Mothers and Spouses event Wednesday, she wore the same navy Michael Kors Collection coat dress she had on to visit Steve Scalise in the hospital in June. She changed up the belt, but it's the same dress. Later that night/early Thursday, she wore the checkered Christian Dior pantsuit she wore in September to the Invictus Games in Toronto -- this time to greet the freed American prisoners as they returned home from North Korea. 
Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images (both Wednesday and June), Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images (Thursday), Chris Jackson/Getty Images (Invictus Games) 

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington Is Talking About:
Sen. John McCain's request for the Senate to reject CIA director nominee Gina Haspel is weighing on lawmakers, with a large number still undecided

What America Is Talking About:
A package exploded Thursday at an Episcopal church in Beaumont, Texas. No one was injured.

Reminder:
Mother's Day is Sunday.

Poll of the Day:
CNN asked about Kanye West in a new poll, and the results are not positive. Here's what the poll, released first in COVER/LINE, found:
  • 72% of Americans said they've heard about Ye's recent controversial remarks, while 25% said they've heard "nothing at all."
  • 52% of Americans who've heard of them say they believe Ye's remarks about politics and slavery were because he's seeking publicity, while 39% say he actually believes what he's saying.
  • His favorable rating is not good, especially for someone who says he wants to run for president: Twenty-three percent of Americans have a favorable impression of him, while 53% have an unfavorable impression.
  • His favorable rating among those who approve of President Donald Trump's job performance is 40% and among those who do not approve of Trump's job performance, it's 9%.
  • His favorable rating among African-Americans is 15% and among whites it's 24%.
Credit: CNN

Newly Released Facebook Ads Show How Russian Trolls Targeted Mexican-Americans:
House Intelligence Committee Democrats released more than 3,000 ads posted on Facebook and Instagram by the Internet Research Agency, including some for a page called "Brown Power" that targeted Mexican-Americans. The ads were purchased by the Russian government-linked troll group between 2015 and 2017. The Internet Research Agency had more than 200,000 followers in 2017, and some of the ads targeted Facebook users who liked Mexico, Latin hip-hop, the Chicano movement, Hispanidad, Lowrider or Chicano rap. Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted the troll group in February. Here's one of its sponsored posts:
Credit: via House Intelligence Committee Democrats

Harris Joins Booker in Backing Pot Legalization:
Sen. Kamala Harris announced Thursday in a video for Now This News that she supports Sen. Cory Booker's legislation to legalize marijuana. "The fact is that marijuana laws are not applied and enforced in the same way for all people," she said. "So for example, African-Americans use marijuana at roughly the same rate as whites but are approximately four times as likely to be arrested for possession. That's just not fair."

Although a number of politicians, including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and former House Speaker John Boehner, have come out in favor of legalizing weed, not everyone's on board. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week he doesn't have plans to endorse legalization.

George W. Bush Warns Against Isolationism:
The former President was honored at an awards ceremony Thursday in Washington hosted by the Atlantic Council. It came on the heels of the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

In his remarks, Bush warned about the dangers of isolationism. "America is indispensable for the world. The price of greatness is responsibility," he said. "One cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilized world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes."

🐸Pepe Watch🐸:
There was a stuffed Pepe sighting at Trump's rally Thursday night in Elkhart, Indiana. That is all.
Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Controversial Billboard Warning Liberals to "Get Your Guns If You Try To Impeach" Will Soon Come Down:
This billboard was put up on private property in Calvert County, Maryland, southeast of Washington. 😳 The sheriff's office told CNN the owner said he plans to take the sign down soon.
Credit: @ABC7Brad/Twitter

Street Art Sighting:
This firm reminder to stop tweeting that may or may not be directed at our President but maybe is also directed at you was spotted outside Big Bear Cafe at R and 1st streets in northwest Washington this week by CNN's Cassie Spodak.
Credit: Cassie Spodak

If you spot political street art, tweet me @hunterschwarz, tag me on Instagram @hunterschwarz or email me at coverlinehunter@cnn.com with your sighting so I can feature it in COVER/LINE.

P.S.:
Rita Ora, Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha and Cardi B teamed up on their new song "Girls." Whenever I hear that three or more female singers, including at least one rapper, are teaming up for an all-star collaboration, I hope it will be the new "Lady Marmalade" cover of our time (see "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj). On first listen, my initial impression of "Girls" is that it's no "Lady Marmalade," but I definitely don't hate it, and can see myself spinning it frequently this summer.

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Happy Friday! Have a good weekend and don't forget to call your mom on Sunday. Happy Mother's Day, mom, I love you! ❤️❤️❤️ Schwarz out.
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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN's Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.

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