President Donald Trump has lurched from self-created crisis to crisis, and his approval rating languishes in the latest polls between 35 percent and 40 percent, the lowest of any newly elected president since Gallup begin measuring it.
On Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey is providing testimony before the Senate on the circumstances surrounding his firing and allegations Trump tried to pressure him to lay off the Russia investigation. Right off the bat, Comey said the Trump administration made "lies plain and simple" about him and the FBI, and defamed both. Comey also said he kept records on Trump meetings because he thought the president might "lie" and he said conversations with the president were "disturbing." The former FBI chief said Trump wanted him to "drop" the Michael Flynn-Russia investigation, but he was not ordered to do so and Comey told the Senate it's not for him to determine obstruction of justice.
When the written Comey testimony was released on Wednesday, the markets seemed to take it in stride rather than reacting as if there were a "smoking gun." On Thursday, as Comey's testimony played out, the markets moved from being flat early to up modestly at mid-day with the Dow at a record level.
Ever since the former FBI director's firing, Wall Street has been ever so gingerly — with the caveat that the odds are long but it can't be entirely ruled out — asking the question, Would a President Mike Pence be any better for the economy and for markets?