Americans Stressed Over Nonstop Political News

18 May, 2017

It has been a busy two weeks in political news from the United States.

President Donald Trump dismissed James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Comey was leading an investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian interference with the November presidential election.

The dismissal happened last week.

This week, The Washington Post reported that Trump shared classified information during his meeting with Russian officials. And The New York Times reported about a memo that James Comey reportedly wrote. It said Trump had asked him to end a federal investigation into a former top Trump administration official.

And on Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named a special counsel to take over the government's "Russia" investigation. He appointed Robert Mueller, who served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013.

Things are happening so fast that it is difficult to keep up.

Larry Sabato is the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

"Everyone I know in the political system, on all sides and in all professions, is exhausted," he said. "There's never a break."

Alison Howard is a therapist in Washington, D.C. Almost everyday, she hears from patients who are "stressed out" about what they have watched or read in the news about politics.

Howard told VOA that people seem to deal with this stress in different ways. Some try to avoid reading or watching as much news as they have in the past.

Howard said, "Others take comfort in signing into social media and finding that other people feel the same way that they do."

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer returns to the Senate chamber Tuesday after answering reporters' questions about President Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer returns to the Senate chamber Tuesday after answering reporters' questions about President Trump.

Lyle Cope, a Republican voter in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, said he is feeling the stress of the regular “breaking news” reports on cable news networks.

"Pretty much anybody who is paying attention is stressed out by the constant flow of things coming from this administration," he said. Cope is retired after helping run centers for the mentally disabled.

Cope voted for the losing Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, rather than Trump, a fellow Republican.

"I think my decision not to vote for Trump has been borne out," Cope said. 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.

"Frightening," Cope said.

Stephen Gele is a lawyer in Louisiana and a Republican who voted for Trump and continues to support the president.

He said Trump's "flamboyant" personality is a big change.

"His style is very different than most presidents people have known," Gele said. "And I think that takes people aback."

Gele praises Trump for carrying out campaign promises to improve enforcement of immigration laws and increase jobs through reduced regulations and tax cuts.

Responding to news about Robert Mueller as special counsel, Trump was measured at first. He predicted the investigation will clear him and his political campaign.

But hours later on Twitter, he was direct in expressing unhappiness.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" he wrote.

Starting this weekend, Trump again will be in the news, as he begins his first international trip as president.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Bruce Alpert reported on this story for VOA Learning English based on reports by VOA News, Reuters and other sources. Hai Do was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section and share your views on 51VOA.COM. Do you ever get stressed out by what you read or hear about world events?


Words in This Story

classified - adj. kept secret from all but a few people in the government

special counsel - n. an attorney given authority to investigate an issue, independent of other government officials or organizations

exhausted - n. very tired

stressed - v. a state of being nervous, upset, about something going on in your life or the world

comfort - n. a state or feeling of being less worried, upset, frightened, during a time of trouble or emotional pain

constant flow - phrase, things that keep happening

borne out - v. having your position supported by what eventually happened

respond - v. to say or write something as an answer to a question or an event or decision