A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that most Americans think Congress should further investigate to learn if the Russian government interfered with the recent presidential election and if there was contact between individuals in the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Roughly 54 percent of people surveyed agreed a more thorough investigation should be conducted on both fronts, with a plurality of respondents (38 percent) now also acknowledging that they feel Trump is “too friendly” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite Trump recently dismissing all the clamor surrounding the two world leaders’ relationship as a “witch hunt,” pollsters also found the percentage of respondents who now feel more needs to be known about it has risen from 31 to 38 percent.
At the same time, the percentage of respondents who previously stated they were undecided on the issue has declined from 44 to just 32 percent.
Comparatively speaking, only 29 percent of those polled said they don’t feel the Trump/Putin relationship is too friendly.
Pollsters found nearly two-thirds of Democrats feel Trump is too friendly with Putin, compared to 48 percent of Republicans. When it comes to independents, 35 percent acknowledged they feel the two are too joined at the hip, compared with 27 percent who don’t perceive the relationship to be much of an issue.
More recently the intensity surrounding the issue has skyrocketed even more after it was uncovered that newly sworn- in Attorney General Jeff Sessions also had contact with Russian operatives during the time of Trump’s campaign, though he failed to disclose as much during his Senate confirmation hearings and directly answered “no” to the question of if he had engaged in any such dialogue.
To date, fifty-seven Congressional Democrats have voiced the opinion Sessions should resign from office, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
In a statement released to Fox News, White House officials have since accused Democrats of stoking the issue and calling for Sessions’ resignation as an effort to derail the positive coverage the president received following his address to Congress.
“This is the latest attack against the Trump administration by partisan Democrats,” the statement added. “Attorney General Sessions met with the ambassador in an official capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is entirely consistent with his testimony.”
In addition to wanting an investigation of contact between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, a recent Reuters/Ipsos also poll found that Russia’ overall popularity has fallen to Cold War-era levels among Americans, who now overwhelmingly (82 percent) view it as more of a threat to U.S. interests.
Currently, there are three ongoing investigations into Russian involvement in the November election where Trump knocked off Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in stunning fashion. The House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Department of Justice are all conducting probes, though they are all said to be in conjunction with the White House in an effort to counter negative news stories.
Although some Republicans have joined in the chorus of those calling for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation, Pelosi has insisted that would not enough.
“Anything less than resignation or removal from office is unacceptable,” she recently tweeted.
After the Washington Post first reported that Sessions had indeed met with a Russian ambassador, his spokeswoman finally confirmed the meeting took place.
In a subsequent interview with NBC News, Sessions responded, “I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign.” He added he would recuse from an investigation into contact between Trump surrogates and the Russian government “whenever it’s appropriate.”
The former Alabama senator was a Trump surrogate throughout the 2016 election season and was among the first national Republicans to publicly endorse him.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]