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One Year On, Trump’s Election Draws Protests, Re-Evaluation

Thousands of Americans are planning to “scream helplessly at the sky” in a show of what organizers say is disgust and frustration at Donald Trump’s election as president exactly one year earlier.

 

The unprecedented protest being played out in many American cities has been mocked by conservatives, sparking incendiary exchanges on the Internet that illustrate the depth of the partisan chasm that divides the significant minority of staunch Trump loyalists and the equally vocal, and arguably larger group that detests him.

 

“American politics had begun to polarize long before President Trump, and crystallized into a sense of tribalism that now pervades politics,” said Dan Mahaffee, executive director of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. “We increasingly see ardent Democrats, ardent Republicans, and little in the middle in terms of pragmatism.”

 

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released this week is evidence that Trump is the least popular president in the 70 years since polling began. Fewer than four in 10 Americans say they approve of his handling of the job. Almost 60 percent say they disapprove, most of them “strongly”.

 

Even many members of Trump’s traditional Middle American support base say he’s not their ideal president.

“He can be awfully hard to like,” said retired Colorado business executive Eugene Bourque. “But I want someone in the White House who I believe supports the four Cs [Christianity, Capitalism, Conservatism and the Constitution] and is willing to fight down and dirty to protect them.”

 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shrugs off the low approval ratings, noting public dissatisfaction with Congress is significantly greater.

“His numbers are a lot better than the Congress. I’d take the president’s numbers over Congress any day,” Huckabee Sanders said during a panel discussion at George Washington University marking the election anniversary.

Bad press

 

The press secretary attributes Trump’s unpopularity in part to overwhelmingly negative reporting from a hostile press. She cited an independent study showing coverage on several TV networks had been 93 percent negative, compared to 40 percent negative during the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency.

 

“For people to pretend like there isn’t a greater sense of hostility towards this administration, I think would be to ignore real facts.”

 

Faced with this perceived animosity, Trump has rewritten the rulebook on presidential communications.

“Trump uses [Twitter] to bypass the press in ways that convey an utter disregard for the role of journalism in democratic societies,” says Stanford University professor of communications Theodore Glasser. “Presidents often have an adversarial relationship with journalists, but I can’t think of a single president, including Richard Nixon, who comes close to Trump in terms of his fear of public scrutiny.”

 

Presidential scholar Mahaffee said Trump understood early-on how to exploit the partisan divide and public distrust of the media.

 

“Social media allows for rancor and sensationalism to triumph over fact and reason,” Mahaffee told VOA. “President Trump harnessed these divides for his own ends to get elected, and his approach has been to further them for his own ends to govern.”

Results?

 

When it comes to assessing Trump’s accomplishments, academics interviewed for this report were generally dismissive. “What accomplishments?” replied Stanford’s Theodore Glasser, noting that Republicans had failed to fulfill promised health care and tax reform despite controlling both houses of Congress.

 

Spokeswoman Huckabee Sanders, however, pointed to successes on foreign policy, battling Islamist extremism and the economy.

“He’s done a very good job of developing relationships with a lot of key partners and allies, particularly…[Japanese Prime Minister] Abe and [Chinese President] Xi that are helping to grow the amount of pressure being put on North Korea.”

 

Huckabee Sanders called Trump’s Middle East trip a “major moment in his presidency.”

“In Saudi Arabia, the speech he gave to, I believe it was 68 Muslim majority countries, bringing a lot of those individuals to talk about working together to combat terrorism; that was a historic moment,” she said.

 

The economy is doing remarkably well since Election Day, but economists disagree about how much is the “due to the “Trump effect.”

“Ahead of the election, everyone thought Trump would tank markets — futures markets fell the night of the election as it became clear he had won. But as he gave his victory speech, sentiment changed, and by the morning, stocks were up,” analyst Emily Stewart of thestreet.com told VOA .

 

In a tweet this week Trump noted that market value has increased $5.4 trillion since Election Day, and remains at record high levels.

Unemployment is down to 4.1 percent, lowest in 17 years. 1.5 million new jobs created since I took office. Highest stock Market ever, up $5.4 trill

 

Experts say that among the factors spurring the steady market growth is one Trump rarely trumpets. Yahoo News White House correspondent Olivier Knox told last week’s George Washington University panel discussion that rolling back regulations is Trump’s untold success story.

 

“It’s one of the signal successes of the Trump administration, something that doesn’t get as much coverage as the latest tweet, but it’s a very important story. The systematic methodical rollback of regulations,” Knox said.

 

Rights Groups Urge Trump to Address China’s Human Rights Violations

Rights advocates at home and abroad are calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to use his first presidential visit to China to address the country’s deteriorating human rights situation.

Advocates are calling for the release of Liu Xia, the widow of the late Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, and many other Chinese political prisoners including four rights lawyers who are either awaiting trial or verdicts. They are also calling for the release of a Taiwanese rights activist detained in China for more than 230 days.

Failing to do so, they warn, will only worsen the situation Chinese rights defenders face. Room for dissent and alternative views in China has been shrinking rapidly since Xi Jinping came to power in 2013.

Deteriorating rights conditions

“The international environment, in which few leaders are willing to stand up for human rights internationally and particularly in relations to China, has emboldened the Chinese government even further in undermining human rights at home,” Maya Wang, China researcher of Human Rights Watch, told VOA.

The most recent case that has gained the attention of rights advocates is the criminal detention of lawyer Li Yuhan. Li has been missing since early last month and officially charged with “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” in late October by the Public Security Bureau in Shenyang, Liaoning province, according to Hong Kong-based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.

It’s not clear if she will be able to hire a lawyer of her own choosing. And her family has also been denied any visits to her in prison.

Shenyang authorities have “made various attempts to revenge her as she used to report the police’s malpractices…. It is apparent to us that both power abuses and malfeasances form part of the case,” the Hong Kong-based rights group said in a written statement.

Retaliation by authorities

Li, 60, suffers from hypertension and has a heart condition. But despite that, she has taken up a series of sensitive cases including that of lawyer Wang Yu, one of the main targets of a massive nationwide crackdown on lawyers in China that began over two years ago. She has also taken on other religious freedom cases as well as the case of a wronged police officer in Anhui.

Rights advocates believe her decision to take on Wang Yu’s case is the main reason behind her detention.

“It may be related to her legal representation for Fengrui lawyer Wang Yu that maybe a possibility as a retaliation against her by the authorities” after she had visited the Wang’s in Mongolia, said Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International, calling on the international society, including President Trump, to address Li’s case as well as other rights violation cases in China.

Amnesty International joined other international rights groups as well as 85 Chinese lawyers and citizens to call for the immediate release of Li while expressing concerns over her health and the possible use of torture against her.

Shaky trade relations

However, rights advocates at home and abroad said the chance that President Trump will criticize China’s human rights records is slim as he, like many other world leaders, is likely to put more emphasis on trade relations with China.

But true progress in trade, some argue, is dependent on advances in human rights.

“It’ll be a sad thing if [trade] cooperation with China is prioritized before [the improvement of] human rights. I believe human rights pave the core foundation for the world’s development. Without [the protection of] human rights, any such economic cooperation won’t be sustainable,” said Ou Biaofeng, a rights activist from Human province.

Under the banner of “America First” the Trump administration has pledged not to interfere in other countries domestic politics and that is sending a worrying signal, one analysts worry may heighten authoritarianism in the region.

International calls

United Nations’ human rights experts have urged Hong Kong to uphold the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly before the court heard a final appeal of Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, who were granted bail on Oct 24, against their respective jail sentences of six months and eight months.

The top court in Hong Kong on Tuesday decided to grant a bid by Wong and Law to appeal their prison terms in a hearing to be scheduled in January.

In Taiwan, various non-governmental organizations gathered in Taipei on Tuesday to voice their support for the Taiwanese rights activist Lee Ming-che, whom China has detained since late March, pending a verdict.

Lin Hsiu-hsin, Taiwan Association of University Professors president, told the Associated Press that “China not only didn’t respect international regulations and human rights, but also didn’t care about its own laws because it has detained a Taiwanese citizen,” who hasn’t been freed yet.

Free Liu Xia

Meanwhile, last week, more than 50 internationally-celebrated writers, artists and supporters of PEN America, including Chimamanda Achibie, Margaret Atwood, and Khaled Hosseini, issued a written petition urging China to end all restrictions and surveillance imposed on Liu Xia, saying the only reason for her detention is her connection to her deceased husband.

The writers further called upon President Trump to seek the release of Liu, who was last seen in an online video in late August.

Also, international rights groups are concerned that thousands of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities are being held in re-education camps, which are now formally referred to as “Professional Education Schools,” without contact with their families under a policy designed to counter extremism in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, according to local officials.

 

 

US Cancels Immigration Benefits for 2,500 Nicaraguans

The Trump administration has ended the immigration benefits for nearly 2,500 Nicaraguan nationals who are in the United States, but extended benefits for 57,000 Hondurans.

The Central American migrants were allowed to live and work in the U.S. under a program called Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

The Department of Homeland Security gave the Nicaraguans TPS recipients 12 months after the January 5 expiration of their protected status to arrange their affairs and either leave the country or obtain legal status through a different visa category.

The Nicaraguan and Honduran TPS recipients have been living in the U.S. under protected status since Hurricane Mitch killed 10,000 across Central America in 1998. That means many of them have been living in the United States for two decades.

Martha Irraheta, a Nicaragua native who arrived in the Miami area about 25 years ago and works as a cook at Islas del Caribe restaurant, said she fears having to return to her homeland. “I am very afraid. I don’t want to return to my country, with the violence the way it is – no way.”  She will have to leave behind a 22-year-old U.S.-born daughter who is a citizen.

Roger Castaño, U.S. representative of Nicaragua’s Permanent Commission on Human Rights said the government in Managua cannot guarantee the safety of those who would be forced to return. “How is the United States going to deport or send back all those thousands of people?” he asks.

Another 195,000 Salvadorans and 46,000 Haitians are awaiting the decision on their fate, as DHS must decide in coming weeks what to do with TPS recipients from those countries whose legal residency will expire early next year.  The TPS designation for Haitians expires on January 22, 2018, while that of the Salvadorans on March 9.  Federal officials are required to announce 60 days before any TPS designation expires whether it will be extended.

These immigrants are among more than 320,000 from 10 nations who have time-limited permission to live and work in the U.S. under TPS because of war, hurricanes, earthquakes or other catastrophes in their home countries that could make it dangerous for them to return.

VOA’s Spanish Service and reporter Jose Pernalete in Miami contributed to this report.

 

US Commerce Chief Defends Investment in Russian Shipper Linked to Putin Inner Circle

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday defended his sizable business links to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, saying “there is no impropriety.”

Ross, a 79-year-old billionaire industrialist, has a 31 percent stake worth $2 million to $10 million in a shipping venture, Navigator Holdings, with connections to Putin’s son-in-law and an oligarch who is subject to U.S. sanctions and is Putin’s judo partner, according to newly leaked documents.

But Ross, a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, said on the sidelines of a business conference in London, “I think the media has made a lot more out of it than it deserves.”

Navigator earns millions of dollars a year shipping natural gas for Russian energy giant Sibur, which is partly owned by Kirill Shamalov, the husband of Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova, and Gennady Timchenko, the oligarch who is Putin’s judo partner, according to the documents. Timchenko is subject to the U.S. sanctions because of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its subsequent support for pro-Russian separatists fighting the Kyiv government’s forces in eastern Ukraine.

‘Nothing whatsoever improper’

But in a pair of interviews with the BBC and Bloomberg TV, Ross dismissed concern about his involvement in the operation. He said the Sibur deal was arranged before he joined Navigator’s board.

“There’s no interlocking of board, there’s no interlocking of shareholders, I had nothing to do with the negotiation of the deal,” he said. “But most importantly the company that is our client itself, Sibur, was not then sanctioned, is not now sanctioned, and never was sanctioned in between. There’s nothing whatsoever improper.”

Ross told Bloomberg, “We have no business ties to those Russian individuals who are under sanction.” Ross said he has been selling his stake in Navigator, “but that isn’t because of this.”

Ross sold off numerous holdings when he joined Trump’s Cabinet earlier this year to avoid conflicts of interest while he promotes U.S. commerce throughout the world. But he kept his Navigator stake, which has been held in a chain of partnerships in the Cayman Islands, an offshore tax haven where Ross has placed much of his estimated $2 billion in wealth.

‘Paradise papers’

Ross did not disclose the Russian business link when he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as commerce secretary, but it surfaced in a trove of more than 13 million documents leaked from Appleby, a Bermuda-based offshore law firm that advises the wealthy elite on global financial transactions as they look to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.  Appleby says it has investigated all the allegations and found “there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients.”

The cache of documents, called the Paradise Papers, was first leaked to a German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and dozens of other media outlets around the world, including The Guardian in Britain, The New York Times and NBC News in the U.S., all of which reported on the Ross investment on Sunday.

The disclosure of Ross’ financial interests in Russia comes as a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, and three congressional panels are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an effort the U.S. intelligence community has concluded was led by Putin in an effort to undermine U.S. democracy and help Trump win the White House.

Several Trump campaign associates have come under scrutiny, but until the disclosures about Ross’ holdings, there have been no reports of business links between top Trump officials and any member of Putin’s family and his inner circle.

The disclosures could put pressure on world leaders, including Trump and British Prime Minister, Theresa May, who have both pledged to curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

“Congress has the power to crack down on offshore tax avoidance,” said Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. “There are copious loopholes in our federal tax code that essentially incentivize companies to cook the books and make U.S. profits appear to be earned offshore. The House tax bill introduced late last week does nothing to close these loopholes.”

Both Candidates Claim Momentum in Virginia Governor’s Race

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam both claim momentum is on their side with one day to go before Election Day in Virginia’s high-stakes, closely watched race for governor.

The candidates are racing across the state Monday after a weekend spent trying to trying to rally supporters ahead of the Tuesday vote.

 

Northam felt strong enthusiasm from his supporters and said he was heartened by the high number of absentee votes that had been cast so far compared with four years ago, particularly in Democratic-leaning areas. Northam predicted turnout could be significantly higher than recent past gubernatorial elections.

 

“We may get well over 50 percent, which would be real good for our party,” Northam said.

 

Gillespie told supporters at a rally Sunday that Republicans were set to sweep statewide races.

 

“We no longer just have momentum — we have the lead,” Gillespie said.

 

Virginia is one of only two states electing a new governor this year, and the contest is viewed by many as an early referendum on President Donald Trump’s political popularity.

 

Democrats are eager to prove they can harness anti-Trump energy into success at the polls, while Republicans are looking to show they have a winning blueprint in a blue-leaning state. Most public polls have shown a close race to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who is term limited.

 

Northam, a pediatric neurologist and the state’s lieutenant governor, spent Saturday in voter-rich northern Virginia, where Democrats have run up huge leads in recent statewide elections. He attended rallies with union members, immigrant groups and others where he sought to use anti-Trump energy as a motivating factor.

 

“Do you all remember how you felt when you woke up on November the 9th of 2016?” Northam asked a group of canvassers in a supporter’s backyard in Ashburn, referring to the day after Trump won the presidential campaign. “We cannot take any chances and wake up like that again.”

 

National Democrats, still stinging from last year’s presidential race, are hoping a strong showing by Northam will help motivate the party ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections. A string of high-profile surrogates, including former President Barack Obama, have campaigned on his behalf.

 

Some volunteers helping Northam said Trump’s victory had spurred them to get involved in a political campaign for the first time.

 

“Really, a lot of us feel unsettled,” said Kee Jun, a Korean-American from Northern Virginia who helped introduce Northam to voters at a restaurant Saturday. “I feel an obligation to my children, Virginia residents and the nation.”

 

But some Republicans said they felt Trump’s victory has energized their party in a lasting way that will help Gillespie.

 

“People realize they can have a voice and can make a difference in an election,” said John Ancellotti, a retired Coast Guard captain and federal agent who attended a Gillespie rally Sunday.

 

Gillespie, a White House adviser to President George W. Bush and former lobbyist, has kept Trump at a distance and has not campaigned with him. But in a bid to rally Trump supporters, Gillespie has run hard-edge attacks ads against Northam focused on immigrants in the country illegally and preserving Confederate statues. The approach has drawn bipartisan criticism, but Gillespie supporters say he’s been unfairly maligned for taking positions that are popular with voters but may not be politically correct.

 

“Ed is willing to take those arrows,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who campaigned with Gillespie on Sunday.

 

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon said Saturday that Gillespie’s tack to the right will help him “pull this out,” according to the pro-Trump website Breitbart News.

 

Gillespie did not mention the president during Sunday rallies in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, instead focusing his message on his plan to boost the state’s economy.

 

Republicans said a controversial last-minute ad by the Latino Victory Fund, which features a Gillespie supporter chasing down children of different minority groups in a pickup truck, has helped galvanize Gillespie supporters at a key time.

 

“That was God’s way of helping him,” said Robin Milewski, a York County Republican volunteer.

 

 

 

Prosecutors: Manafort Needs to Detail Finances Further in Bail Talks

Special Counsel Robert Mueller pushed back on Sunday against Paul Manafort’s efforts to avoid house arrest, arguing that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager needed to further detail the finances behind his proposed $12 million bail agreement.

In a court memorandum, Mueller and his attorneys argued that the court should only agree to a bail agreement if Manafort fully explains his finances to the court.

Prosecutors said his team had not been able to substantiate the value of one of the three properties, as well as several life insurance policies, Manafort wants to pledge for bail.

Manafort, who ran Trump’s presidential campaign for several months last year, and associate Richard Gates pleaded not guilty last week to a 12-count indictment by a federal grand jury. They face charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the United States and failing to register as foreign agents of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government. The two are currently under house arrest, and prosecutors have argued they could pose a flight risk.

The charges are part of Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian efforts to tilt the 2016 election in Trump’s favor and potential collusion by Trump associates, allegations that Moscow and the Republican president deny.

In a Saturday court filing, Manafort offered to limit his travel and pledged life insurance worth about $4.5 million as well as about $8 million in real estate assets, including a property on Fifth Avenue in New York that was identified by some media outlets as an apartment in Trump Tower.

But prosecutors said they needed an independent appraisal of that Fifth Avenue property, since Manafort was claiming a fair-market value of the unit that appeared to exceed other outside estimates.

Prosecutors also argued they needed time to talk to Manafort’s insurance company about his policies. The prosecutors noted that Manafort would be required to forfeit one of those policies, worth $2.6 million, should he be convicted, creating additional questions about its value in a potential bail agreement.

In the document, Mueller said his team was in talks with Manafort’s counsel about striking a bail agreement but that Manafort had not provided enough detail yet on his finances.

“Those discussions are best described as ongoing, and the government is not prepared to consent to a change in the current conditions of release at least until Manafort provides a full accounting of his net worth and the value of the assets that he proposes to pledge,” Mueller said in the court memorandum.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said on Thursday that initial bail terms would remain in place and set a bail hearing for Monday to consider changes.

Huge Political Stakes in US Tax Reform Fight

While President Donald Trump continues an Asia trip with high geo-strategic stakes, Republicans in Washington are promoting an ambitious tax reform bill that could bring enormous fiscal, and political, consequences. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, a tax cut is Trump’s last hope for a major legislative victory in his first year in office, something Republicans desperately need and something Democrats are determined to deny them.

US Commerce Chief Tied to Russian Shipping Venture, Leaked Documents Show

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross shares significant business interests through a shipping venture in Russia with President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and an oligarch subject to American sanctions, newly leaked documents showed Sunday.

Ross, a 79-year-old billionaire industrialist, has an investment in partnerships valued at between $2 million and $10 million in the shipper, Navigator Holdings, according to his government ethics disclosures.

The shipping company earns millions of dollars a year transporting natural gas for Sibur, a Russian energy company that is partly owned by Kirill Shamalov, the husband of Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova, and Gennady Timchenko, the oligarch who is Putin’s judo partner, according to the documents. Timchenko is subject to the U.S. sanctions because of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its subsequent support for pro-Russian separatists fighting the Kyiv government’s forces in eastern Ukraine.

Ross sold off numerous holdings when he joined President Donald Trump’s Cabinet earlier this year to avoid conflicts of interest while he promotes U.S. commerce throughout the world. But he kept his Navigator stake, which has been held in a chain of partnerships in the Cayman Islands, an offshore tax haven where Ross has placed much of his estimated $2 billion in wealth.

‘Paradise Papers’

Ross did not disclose the Russian business link when he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as commerce secretary, but it surfaced in a trove of more than 7 million internal documents leaked from Appleby, a Bermuda-based offshore law firm that advises the wealthy elite on global financial transactions as they look to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.  Appleby, says it has investigated all the allegations, and found “there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients.”

The cache of documents, called the Paradise Papers, was first leaked to a German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media, including The Guardian in Britain, The New York Times and NBC News in the U.S., all of which reported on the Ross investment on Sunday.

Ross, through a Commerce Department spokesman, said he removes himself as secretary from matters related to trans-oceanic shipping and consults with the agency’s ethics officials “to ensure the highest ethical standards.”

The disclosure of Ross’ financial interests in Russia comes as a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, and three congressional panels are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an effort the U.S. intelligence community has concluded was led by Putin in an effort to undermine U.S. democracy and help Trump win the White House.

Several Trump campaign associates have come under scrutiny, but until the disclosures about Ross’ holdings, there have been no reports of business links between top Trump officials and any member of Putin’s family and his inner circle.

The disclosures will likely put pressure on world leaders, including Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May, who have both pledged to curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

“Congress has the power to crack down on offshore tax avoidance. There are copious loopholes in our federal tax code that essentially incentivize companies to cook the books and make U.S. profits appear to be earned offshore. The House tax bill introduced late last week does nothing to close these loopholes,” said Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Asians Talk About Their Expectations for Trump’s Visit

President Donald Trump on Sunday began his first official visit to Asia. His first stop is Japan, followed by South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Here’s what people in those countries have to say about their expectations for the visit.

JAPAN

Yoh Kawakami, employee at an information management solution company:

“I do wonder whether things will be OK, like, what will the world turn into? I wonder about his (Trump’s) response to North Korea and other things. There are things that scare me. He is becoming friendly with Prime Minister Abe, and I don’t know if that is right or not.”

“I do want him (Trump) to be more cool-headed. If he continues only provoking, the situation may actually become explosive.”

​Yumu Katsuyama, employee at nonprofit for international clinical childcare:

“Honestly when he first became president, I did question whether he was OK. But my American friends have said that after he became president, their lives and the economy has gotten better. Personally, I have started thinking that it may be a good thing that he became president.”

SOUTH KOREA

Ock Hyun-woong, company worker:

“President Trump is known to be a man of coercive control who makes controversial statements that get the attention of foreign media. While I don’t oppose President Trump’s visit to South Korea, I hope he can work well with South Korean-U.S. issues, like the economy.”

CHINA

Ding Chenling, technology investor and well-known tech blogger with 700,000 followers on China’s microblogging website Weibo:

“Well, maybe our system is not that perfect yet, but it’s like a kid to the teacher. We don’t want to be lectured by the teacher. We want to have our own way. We want to grow our own self by ourselves. So I think that’s the reason the Chinese people like Trump. He casts aside the political correctness. He says ‘Oh yeah, it’s good, America may do business, we want to do business, we want to make money together.”’

​Zhao Yingran, business development manager for a virtual reality video company:

“So I very much respect President Xi from the bottom of my heart and I think under his leadership, China will lead the world sooner or later especially with the focus on technologies and humanity. I think all of the policies executed by President Xi should set a good example for Donald Trump, which Donald Trump will need to learn to make United States great again.”

VIETNAM

Bach Ngoc Lien, development expert:

“Donald Trump is a controversial character. He often has negative comments about migrants, makes unfavorable policies about climate change, the areas where the U.S. used to be the leader and plays an important role internationally. Human rights, women’s rights are values that the U.S. used to uphold, but I find that these values are fading under Trump’s presidency.”

“During his campaign, President Donald Trump had a slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ and for his Asian trip, I have a slogan for him: ‘Make America Friendly Again’ because the U.S has always been a friendly country, being the dream of many people, up until now. I hope Donald Trump will not distance the U.S and isolate it from other countries. I hope he will make the U.S friendly again like it used to be.”

PHILIPPINES

Jeanne Vivar, student:

“I don’t like the conservative policies of Trump and obviously it has affected the Filipinos working in America. Ironically, there are a lot of people who are in favor of Donald Trump.”

“In Asia, especially the problem in North Korea is escalating, so my message will be when Trump arrives here in Asia and the Philippines, I hope the tensions will ease instead of him making it worse.”

​Lorenzo Nakpil, architect:

“My opinion on Trump is mixed. I don’t agree with some people in the West they say he is racist and he wants to build a wall blocking Mexico and he gives immigrants a hard time. He is very conservative in that sense but in a way I respect that. Where I agree with Trump is where he agrees with (Philippine President Rodrigo) Duterte and he supports the Philippines’ war on drugs. He doesn’t buy it that Duterte’s way of stopping drugs is a human rights violation. Our president with the support of Trump, they’re actually doing a good job.”

Poll: More Americans Disapprove of Trump’s Performance

The U.S. president’s performance as leader of the American people has received failing grades from the public, according to a Washington Post-ABC News survey.

Donald Trump has been in office almost one year, and his approval rating is “demonstrably lower than any previous chief executive at this point in his presidency over seven decades of polling” says a report on the poll in The Washington Post. Only 37 percent of Americans, or fewer than 4 in 10, approve of Trump’s job performance as the U.S. chief executive.

His disapproval rating has reached a stunning 59 percent, and half of that group strongly disapproves of the job he is doing.

At 100 days into the presidency, 42 percent of Americans said they thought Trump has accomplished a great deal, but now that number has slipped to 35 percent.

The newspaper report said a 65 percent of those surveyed say Trump has accomplished “not much” or “little or nothing.”

The survey also indicated 51 percent of Americans trust Trump not at all in his handling of the threat posed by North Korea.

The Post reports that half of all Americans think the president has a bias against black people and more than half, 55 percent, think he is biased against women.

However, of those who voted for Trump in the election, 91 percent continue to approve of his performance.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.