Majority of voters believe White House is in chaos

While President Donald Trump claimed early Monday in a tweet that there was no “chaos” in his White House, voters disagree: 60 percent say the administration is running somewhat or very chaotically, compared to only 33 percent who say it is running well.

That’s according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted last Thursday through Saturday. The survey was conducted entirely prior to Monday’s ouster of Anthony Scaramucci from his position as White House communications director, and was already in the field when Reince Priebus left the chief of staff position.

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In general, voters have a low opinion of how Trump’s White House is operating. Fewer voters, 29 percent, say Trump’s staff serves him well than the 39 percent who say his staff doesn’t serve him well.

Republican voters have a much more positive impression of how Trump’s White House is operating: 63 percent say it is running well, though more than a third, 34 percent, say it is running chaotically. By comparison, very few Democrats (12 percent) or independents (25 percent) say Trump’s White House is running well — with 80 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents saying it is beset by chaos.

The poll surveyed 1,972 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: | Crosstabs:

‘America’s toughest sheriff’ found guilty of criminal contempt

Joe Arpaio is pictured. | AP Photo

Joe Arpaio, who lost a reelection bid last year, earned a reputation during his tenure for his tough stance against illegal immigration and headline-grabbing approach to criminal justice. | AP Photo

A federal judge in Arizona found former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt on Monday for violating an order in a racial-profiling case.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton said the evidence in the case showed a “flagrant disregard” for a 2011 court order that required the sheriff to stop detaining people unless they were suspected of a crime.

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The 85-year-old Arpaio, who lost a reelection bid last year, earned a reputation during his tenure for his tough stance against illegal immigration and headline-grabbing approach to criminal justice, dressing inmates in pink underwear and operating an open-air “tent city” jail in the scorching Arizona heat.

Arpaio, notoriously media-friendly, embraced his reputation as “America’s toughest sheriff.”

But his renegade approach to law enforcement also attracted litigation. One class-action lawsuit that began a decade ago accused the sheriff’s office of racial profiling of Hispanics during traffic stops.

In 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow issued an order that prohibited the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office from detaining people without reasonable suspicion of a crime.

On Monday, Bolton found Arpaio “willfully violated” that order when he told his subordinates to continue to detain people who couldn’t be charged with a crime and failed to instruct them otherwise.

The federal judge said Arpaio “broadcast to the world and to his subordinates” that he wouldn’t change his approach to law enforcement.

In one of several examples cited in Monday’s verdict, Arpaio told the Spanish-language media outlet Univision in March 2012 that he had continued to detain and arrest undocumented immigrants despite the judge’s order.

“If they don’t like what I’m doing, get the laws changed in Washington,” Arpaio told Univision, a statement Bolton cited in her decision.

The former lawman, who is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 5, faces a maximum of six months in jail for the misdemeanor offense.

Sanders: Trump was joking when he endorsed rough police treatment of suspects

The White House on Monday dismissed widespread criticism of President Donald Trump’s comments last week that seemed to advocate rougher treatment of arrested suspects.

“I believe he was making a joke at the time,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

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Trump spoke Friday at Suffolk County Community College in New York on the federal government’s crackdown on the MS-13 gang. In a speech that resembled many of his campaign rallies, Trump told a crowd of police officers to be rougher with suspects.

“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in. Rough, I said. Please don’t be too nice,” Trump said. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know? The way you put their hand over. Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody? Don’t hit their head? I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”

The crowd of law enforcement officials cheered and applauded the president’s remarks, but police departments quickly condemned the comments over the weekend.

“The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners. Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously,” the Suffolk County Police Department tweeted Friday. “As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.”

Sanders did not respond a question from a reporter at the end of Monday’s briefing asking why the president thought it was acceptable to joke about police behavior toward suspects, an issue that entered the national consciousness after a string of officer-involved shootings in recent years.