A new poll gauging what Americans think about the conflicting stories offered by President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey concerning the latter’s firing suggests that Comey is winning the credibility war being fought between the two. In fact, poll results indicate that Americans, by a two-to-one margin, find Comey’s account of the event more believable than President Trump’s.
According to a poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, 45 percent of those surveyed believe former FBI Director James Comey’s version of events given in his testimony before the U.S. Senate over the various versions of the same events that have thus far made their way out of the White House. Only 22 percent of respondents indicated that they believed the president. To be clear, another 21 percent said they did not believe either of the men. And still another 9 percent indicated that they believed both men were telling the truth.
The results follow closely the sentiment shared by many Americans (47 percent) that President Trump mishandled the firing of Comey. By comparison, the percentage of those that disapproved of the firing jumped 19 percent since a May NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. With 27 percent agreeing with the way the situation was handled, the approval rating slid slightly as well (2 percent).
President Trump fired James Comey on May 9, immediately touching off a debate of whether or not the firing constituted obstruction of justice on the president’s part, given that the FBI was currently investigating possible connections between members of the Trump presidential campaign and Russian operatives. A poll released by Public Policy Polling on June 12 indicated that more Americans (49 percent) believe the president is guilty of obstruction of justice, while 41 percent believe he is not. The same poll showed that 47 percent of respondents felt President Trump should be impeached, as opposed to 43 percent who did not. A majority, 53 percent, consider President Trump to be a liar.
Worse, as was reported by The Inquisitr, an Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 61 percent of respondents felt that President Trump attempted to “obstruct the investigation” into the alleged Russian election tampering. More than a third (37 percent) said they believed Trump had done nothing wrong.
After Comey’s firing, the Trump administration initially stated that the FBI director was fired because of the way in which he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation that was ongoing throughout much of the 2016 election. However, the story was altered when President Trump himself suggested that the firing was due to the FBI investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the presidential election and whether the Trump campaign had contacts with the Russians.
“When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,” Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt during an interview two days after Comey’s dismissal.
The poll revealing President Trump’s lack of credibility with regard to the Comey firing comes even after the president denied the veracity of the former FBI director’s testimony, wherein he said President Trump had asked he drop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s alleged connections with Russia and that Trump repeatedly demanded his loyalty.
“No collusion. No obstruction. He’s a leaker,” Trump said at a press conference June 9, according to CNN, his “leaker” comment making reference to Comey’s admission at the Senate hearing that he provided memos of his meetings with Trump to a friend who disclosed them to The New York Times. The president also said that he was “100 percent” willing to testify under oath to his version of events.
The question now: With his credibility so damaged in the estimation of much of the public, can President Trump’s testimony be trusted to reflect the truth — even if given under oath?
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]