- A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows 60% disapproval for President Donald Trum, and indicates his efforts to undermine the Russia probe and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are falling flat.
- A healthy majority of respondents expressed support for special counsel Robert Mueller and Sessions, despite Trump’s almost daily public attacks upon both.
- Trump has stepped up his efforts to undermine both in recent weeks, strongly hinting in a Thursday interview that Sessions could be gone after the midterm elections.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday found President Donald Trump’s disapproval rating among Americans hit a new high of 60% and suggested his escalating attacks against the Department of Justice and Russia probe could be backfiring.
The poll was conducted among a random sampling of over 1,000 adults between August 26-29, the week after two significant legal developments related to Trump. Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted by a jury on eight counts of tax and bank fraud. And Trump’s longtime former lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Trump in his guilty plea to violating federal campaign finance and corporate contribution laws.
In an effort to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s potential role in it, Trump has stepped up his public attacks of Mueller himself, other officials within the Justice Department, and his own attorney general.
Yet despite round-the-clock efforts on Twitter and in public statements, a healthy majority of Americans say they support Mueller.
Overall, 63% of those polled expressed support of the Mueller investigation, with 29% opposing it. Trump frequently refers to the probe as “rigged” and a “witch hunt,” recently going as far to call Mueller, a former FBI director, “disgraced and discredited” and claiming his appointment was illegal.
A resounding 67% believe Mueller’s prosecution of Manafort, who is set to face a second trial in September, was justified. Trump consistently decried the prosecution of Manafort on fraud charges as “unfair” and “very sad.” Sixty-six per cent of respondents believe Trump should not pardon Manafort, a move Trump has not completely ruled out.
Despite Trump’s recent lashing out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his recusal from overseeing the Mueller probe, which prompted Sessions to issue a rare public rebuke, almost two-thirds of those polled opposed Sessions being fired.
Only 23% thought Trump’s criticism of Sessions for removing himself from overseeing the investigation due to his involvement in the campaign was valid.
A slim majority, 53% of respondents, said they believed Trump had interfered in the Mueller probe in a way that constituted criminal obstruction of justice. A slightly larger 61% said they believed Cohen’s bombshell claim that he violated federal law “at the direction” of Trump.
Opinions to whether Trump should be impeached were divided strongly along partisan lines, with 75% of Democrats agreeing Congress should begin impeachment proceedings, 82% of Republicans disagreeing, and independents roughly split on the issue.
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