- A majority of Americans (62%) say President Donald Trump has not been honest and trustworthy regarding the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
- Trump has been implicated in federal crimes in the Southern District of New York and is under increasing pressure by Mueller’s investigation.
- The president strongly denies doing anything illegal and often refers to the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt.”
A majority of Americans (62%) say President Donald Trump has not been honest and trustworthy regarding the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
The poll, conducted December 9-12 with a 3.3-point margin of error, indicated that just 34% of Americans thought the president had been honest and truthful when it came to Mueller’s investigation.
Comparatively, back in August 38% of registered voters said they agreed Trump had been honest and truthful about the investigation, while 56% said they disagreed with that characterization. About one in five respondents in the latest survey said they were not registered to vote.
The new survey came amid mounting legal pressure for Trump in relation to Mueller’s investigation and discussions on whether he could be indicted as a sitting president.
Trump was recently implicated in serious crimes by federal prosecutors in relation to hush-money payments made by one of his attorneys at the time, Michael Cohen, to two women who said they had had affairs with Trump. Prosecutors said the payments represented campaign finance violations, and they are among the reasons Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison last week.
Trump has insisted nothing nefarious occurred regarding the payments, describing them as nothing more than a “simple private transaction.”
Cohen in August pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes in the Southern District of New York, including campaign finance violations linked to the payments. At the time, Cohen said he made the payments at Trump’s direction and did so to influence the 2016 election.
Federal prosecutors have since endorsed Cohen’s claim, stating in a recent court filing that the president’s former fixer made the payments “in coordination with and at the direction” of Trump.
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In a recent interview with Fox News, the president denied directing Cohen to make the payments to hide the women’s stories from the public.
“I never directed him to do anything wrong,” Trump said. “Whatever he did he did on his own. He’s a lawyer. A lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do the right thing – that’s why you pay them a lot of money.”
As part of the investigation he’s leading, Mueller is looking into whether Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. The president, who has vehemently denied colluding with the Kremlin in any way, routinely refers to Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.”
Polls have consistently shown Americans do not think Trump is a particularly truthful president.
A September CNN-SSRS poll, for example, found just 32% of Americans describing Trump as honest and trustworthy.
Similarly, a May NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll found that 61% of Americans thought Trump had trouble telling the truth.
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