More voters disapprove of President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey than those who approve, however, the move has ultimately divided Americans, a new poll has shown.
According to ABC News, 39 percent of Americans say that they approve of President Trump’s decision to fire the FBI Director, while a greater 46 percent disapprove of the decision. Meanwhile, one in seven of those polled, or 15 percent, say that they have no opinion. In all, the decision certainly appears to have split the country regarding opinion.
Quite predictably, it’s Donald Trump’s supporters that also support his decision to fire Comey, while those who already oppose him are more likely to disagree. The results show 79 percent of Republicans agreeing that Comey had to go, while only 13 percent disagree with the decision. Similarly, the poll shows 78 percent of Democrats disapproving, while only 14 percent approve. That being said, more independent voters approve of the decision than those who disapprove, by a margin of 45 to 32 percent.
The vast number of Democrats who agree with Comey’s firing might be a little more surprising, however. After all, the president justified his decision to fire Comey by citing his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton, with many Democrats and Clinton supporters blaming the former first lady’s loss on Comey in last year’s presidential election.
— POLITICO (@politico) May 14, 2017
Polling around Comey’s firing largely correlates with his wider approval rating. Over the course of his young presidency, Donald Trump has averaged at a 41 percent approval rating. According to Five Thirty-Eight, by comparison, President Obama was averaging at a 61 percent approval rating following the same period in 2009, while George W. Bush achieved 54.8 percent and Bill Clinton 55.4 percent. In all, President Trump still appears to be struggling to gain a level of approval that his predecessors had achieved in the same period.
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Prior to James Comey’s firing, the only FBI Director to have been ousted in the past was in 1993, when then-President Bill Clinton fired then-FBI Director William Sessions. At the time, polling showed that 44 percent of Americans approved of Clinton’s decision, while only 24 percent disapproved. That being said, 32 percent expressed no opinion of the decision.
Following his decision to fire Comey, according to BBC News, President Trump confirmed that he would announce a replacement for the fired FBI Director by late next week. Reports suggest that Alice Fisher was the first candidate interviewed by the justice department while acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, New York Appeals Court Judge Michael Garcia, and Republican Senator John Cornyn all also met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions as possible candidates to lead the federal law enforcement agency.
— POLITICO (@politico) May 10, 2017
In all, eleven people are reportedly being considered for the position, which will require confirmation in the Senate. President Trump has suggested that he wants to move quickly in finding a replacement for Comey, which is likely because of the backlash he’s faced following the decision.
“I think the process is going to move quickly because almost all of them are very well-known, they’ve been vetted over their lifetime essentially,” he said.
That being said, Director Comey’s firing could still spell trouble for the White House. President Trump’s actions over the past few days have sparked fresh comparison with President Richard Nixon, who famously recorded conversations, speeding his downfall during the Watergate scandal.
— CNN (@CNN) May 13, 2017
Senior Democrats on the House judiciary and oversight committees wrote to the White House on Friday demanding copies of any recordings.
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