June 7, 2017

Readership on right-wing website Breitbart News has dropped dramatically since President Trump won the election. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that visitor traffic on the site "has fallen 53 percent since November, from 22.96 million unique individuals to 10.76 million last month."

While Breitbart isn't the only news site to suffer a traffic drop-off since the election — The New York Times, for instance, has seen a 26 percent drop in traffic since November — Breitbart's dive is noticeably steeper. In a statement to the Post, Breitbart framed claims about its dwindling traffic as "liberal hysteria," noting its traffic "has increased 59 percent on a year-to-year basis and that it ranks No. 60 among U.S.-based websites."

But traffic isn't the only thing slipping at Breitbart. The number of advertisers on the site has also sunk, dropping from 242 companies with ads on the site in March to just 26 companies last month. The company has also pushed back plans to expand to France and Germany. Most recently, Breitbart fired reporter Katie McHugh for suggesting "there would be no deadly terror attacks in the U.K. if Muslims didn't live there."

All of that combined has raised the question of whether Breitbart will be forced to change, as the right starts to turn on the site. "Breitbart has never been under more pressure than it is now, trying to establish itself as the premiere right-wing outlet even as liberal boycott threats have cost it hundreds of advertisers," said Will Sommer, who writes a newsletter on conservative media. "So now, any staffer who hurts Breitbart's request for respectability (and advertisers) can expect to be fired." Becca Stanek

June 5, 2017

Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly made her debut on NBC News on Sunday night in a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the highly anticipated first episode of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, Kelly peppered Putin with questions about the Russian government's contacts with President Trump's team and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

About all Kelly got out of Putin was a string of denials and some brutal quips, like when he inquired, "Do you even understand what you're asking or not?" Kelly's critics weren't much impressed, either, as evidenced by the array of headlines below. Becca Stanek

1. NPR: Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly makes a tepid debut
2. Los Angeles Times: Megyn Kelly gets outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin on her NBC premiere Sunday Night
3. CNN: Megyn Kelly gets off to low-key start on Sunday Night
4. The Hollywood Reporter: Critic's Notebook: Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly spends 60 minutes trying to be 60 Minutes
5. Vanity Fair: Even Putin seemed bored with Megyn Kelly's interview
6. Newsday: Megyn Kelly off to rough start with NBC show's premiere
7. Yahoo News: Megyn Kelly's Putin interview: A 'load of nonsense'

May 24, 2017
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, a devout Catholic, couldn't wait to meet Pope Francis alongside President Trump on Wednesday, a source "close to the White House" told CNN. "That's all he wanted," the insider said.

But when the big day finally arrived, Spicer wasn't invited. Trump had everyone from his wife Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, his communications adviser Hope Hicks, his former bodyguard Keith Schiller, and his social media director Dan Scavino by his side — but Spicer was apparently told "there wasn't room for him on the roster."

The White House insider told CNN this should "'very much' be seen as a slight." The two times that former President Barack Obama visited the Vatican, his press secretaries were in attendance. Spicer additionally hasn't been seen at some top-level meetings, amid reports that Trump is considering nixing his daily on-camera White House briefings.

A White House official insisted the Vatican was just "strict" about how many people could attend and insisted a "very small delegation" joined Trump. Becca Stanek

April 28, 2017
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The economy grew at just a 0.7 percent rate in the first quarter of 2017, the Commerce Department reported Friday, marking the slowest quarterly expansion rate in three years. The clip is a steep drop-off from the previous period, when the economy grew at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Despite President Trump's promises to boost economic growth, consumer spending in his first quarter in office increased by just 0.3 percent, which Bloomberg reported was "the worst performance since 2009."

Economists had projected a sluggish first quarter and expect growth to bounce back in the second quarter. Reuters noted that this isn't a "true picture of the economy's health," as the labor market reaches "near full employment" and consumer confidence soars. Becca Stanek

April 25, 2017

A new poll by Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes revealed more than a third of Republicans aren't certain the freedom of the press, protected by the Constitution's First Amendment, is actually a democratic necessity. The poll found that 36 percent of Republicans believe the press' freedom "does more harm than good." Just 13 percent of Democrats said the same.

The majority of Democrats and Republicans, however, do believe in the value of a free press. The poll found that 61 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats believe freedom of the press is "necessary."

Most Americans are still relying on TV, newspapers, and talk radio as their "most accurate and honest" sources of news, though 8 percent said they depend on Facebook. More Americans said they rely on their mother (6 percent) for accurate news than on President Trump (5 percent).

Check out the full breakdown of the poll in the nifty graphic below. Becca Stanek

March 24, 2017

At a press conference Friday after GOP leadership canceled the vote on the American Health Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) admitted "doing big things is hard." "Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains," Ryan said. "Well, we're feeling those pains today."

Though Ryan conceded the House Freedom Caucus contributed to the GOP being short on votes, he laid the blame on the Republican Party as a whole. He noted the party will "need time to reflect" and consider what could've been done better.

Ryan said Republicans "came really close" but ultimately "came up short," explaining why he advised President Trump earlier Friday that "the best thing to do" would be to pull the bill. "ObamaCare is the law of the land," Ryan said. "It's going to remain the law of the land until it's replaced."

After a seven-year battle to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Ryan confirmed the GOP will be "moving on" for now from health care to tax reform. Catch a snippet of Ryan's comments below. Becca Stanek

March 20, 2017

President Trump may have just set the record for the highest disapproval rating by day 60 in office. Gallup's latest approval rating poll released Sunday saw Trump's approval rating sink to 37 percent, and his disapproval rating rise to 58 percent. Just one week ago, Trump's approval rating was 8 points higher, at 45 percent.

Trump's numbers look even worse when compared to previous presidents' ratings after two months in office. Prior to Trump, the president with the highest disapproval rating at the 60-day mark — at least dating back to 1977 — was former President Bill Clinton, who had a 34 percent disapproval rating at this point in his first term. Trump just beat that record by a whopping 24 points:

The Gallup poll surveyed about 1,500 adults nationwide by phone. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Becca Stanek

January 2, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump won't reveal "anything that was privileged or was shared with him classified" when he makes his promised comments on Russian hacking this week, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday on CNN's New Day. Despite Trump's claims at a New Year's Eve celebration on Saturday that he'd reveal on Tuesday or Wednesday the things he knows that "other people don't know," Spicer said it's "not a question of necessarily revealing." "He's going to talk about his conclusions and where he thinks things stand," Spicer said, noting Trump will also "make sure people understand there's a lot of questions out there" in regards to Russian's involvement in cyber attacks ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

Spicer indicated that those lingering questions make it impossible to say how Trump would respond should a final intelligence report confirm Russia's involvement. "I know it's frustrating for you that we're doing it in a logical way," Spicer told CNN's Alisyn Camerota, who had a hard time believing Trump's team had not yet even considered a possible response. "But no, we're going to get all the information, get briefed properly and then make a decision. We're not going to put the cart before the horse."

Catch the rest of Spicer's interview below. Becca Stanek

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