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Americans Stressed Over Nonstop Political News

2017-05-19

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[00:00.00]
  • It has been a busy two weeks in political news from the United States.
  • [00:07.34]
  • President Donald Trump dismissed James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • [00:17.70]
  • Comey was leading an investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian interference with the November presidential election.
  • [00:32.86]
  • The dismissal happened last week.
  • [00:36.36]
  • This week, The Washington Post reported that Trump shared classified information during his meeting with Russian officials.
  • [00:48.20]
  • And The New York Times reported about a memo that James Comey reportedly wrote.
  • [00:57.16]
  • It said Trump had asked him to end a federal investigation into a former top Trump administration official.
  • [01:09.81]
  • And on Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named a special counsel to take over the government’s “Russia” investigation.
  • [01:22.73]
  • He appointed Robert Mueller, who served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013.
  • [01:32.29]
  • Things are happening so fast that it is difficult to keep up.
  • [01:39.61]
  • Larry Sabato is the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
  • [01:48.18]
  • “Everyone I know in the political system, on all sides and in all professions, is exhausted,” he said. “There's never a break.”
  • [02:00.83]
  • Alison Howard is a therapist in Washington, D.C.
  • [02:06.48]
  • Almost everyday, she hears from patients who are “stressed out” about what they have watched or read in the news about politics.
  • [02:18.98]
  • Howard told VOA that people seem to deal with this stress in different ways.
  • [02:27.57]
  • Some try to avoid reading or watching as much news as they have in the past.
  • [02:35.03]
  • Howard said, “Others take comfort in signing into social media and finding that other people feel the same way that they do.”
  • [02:47.51]
  • Lyle Cope, a Republican voter in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, said he is feeling the stress of the regular “breaking news” reports on cable news networks.
  • [03:02.46]
  • “Pretty much anybody who is paying attention is stressed out by the constant flow of things coming from this administration,” he said.
  • [03:14.11]
  • Cope is retired after helping run centers for the mentally disabled.
  • [03:20.61]
  • Cope voted for the losing Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, rather than Trump, a fellow Republican.
  • [03:30.20]
  • “I think my decision not to vote for Trump has been borne out,” Cope said.
  • [03:36.44]
  • He criticizes Trump for supporting a health care bill that will stop coverage for millions of Americans, and reports that he shared secret information with Russian officials.
  • [03:52.00]
  • “Frightening,” Cope said.
  • [03:55.34]
  • Stephen Gele is a lawyer in Louisiana and a Republican who voted for Trump and continues to support the president.
  • [04:07.18]
  • He said Trump’s “flamboyant” personality is a big change.
  • [04:13.57]
  • “His style is very different than most presidents people have known,” Gele said. “And I think that takes people aback.”
  • [04:23.37]
  • Gele praises Trump for carrying out campaign promises to improve enforcement of immigration laws and increase jobs through reduced regulations and tax cuts.
  • [04:38.93]
  • Responding to news about Robert Mueller as special counsel, Trump was measured at first.
  • [04:48.92]
  • He predicted the investigation will clear him and his political campaign.
  • [04:55.45]
  • But hours later on Twitter, he was direct in expressing unhappiness.
  • [05:02.09]
  • “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” he wrote.
  • [05:11.24]
  • Starting this weekend, Trump again will be in the news, as he begins his first international trip as president.
  • [05:22.85]
  • I'm Caty Weaver.