Newsweek reports that a new CNN poll out this week checking America's temperature on approvals shows that Robert Mueller's approval rating trumps Trump's, as Donald Trump's approval rating reaches another historic low. Additionally, the majority of voters in one poll said they think Trump is lying about Russia. A second poll by CNN shows that the majority believes Donald Trump accusers are telling the truth and that the sexual assault allegations against him should be investigated by Congress.
In the first poll, CNN reports that President Trump's approval rating "sank to a new low" at 35 percent. CNN notes it is the "worst approval rating" of any president's first year in the White House. Fifty-nine percent of Americans today said they disapprove of how Trump is handling the presidency.
The Trump Russia scandal has plagued the White House since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and has become a full-blown investigation by former FBI Director and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. In this CNN poll, Robert Mueller's approval rating was 47 percent.
Forty-seven percent approve of how Mueller is conducting the investigation, and 61 percent said it was a serious matter that should be fully investigated. Robert Mueller is a registered Republican.
When asked if respondents felt that what Donald Trump has said publicly about the investigation is true, 35 percent say he's telling the truth, and 56 percent say what Trump says about Russia is false. An additional 32 percent say that what Trump says about Russia is "mostly false."
Fifty-six percent of respondents said they disapprove of the way Trump handles the Russia matter. Forty-seven percent approve of the way Robert Mueller is handling the matter.
Thirty-two percent of respondents said they approved of the way Donald Trump was handling Russia. That is almost the exact same amount that disapproves of the way Robert Mueller is handling Russia.
Many Americans polled believe the matter is serious enough to be investigated at 61 percent. However, 34 percent believe the investigation is mainly to discredit Donald Trump, and that is the same number that approves of how Trump handles Russia. It is also almost the exact same number of people that believe what Donald Trump says about Russia is true at 35 percent.
But 56 percent of those polled say they think he is lying about Russia.
In a separate CNN poll, voters were asked about the sexual assault allegations levied against Donald Trump by multiple accusers during the Elections 2016 campaign, allegations that continue today. In that poll, 64 percent said that the "way Donald Trump treats women is an important indicator of his character and ability to serve as president." Fifty percent of voters polled said they think Donald Trump should resign due to the allegations.
Sixty-three percent of those polled said a congressional investigation should be launched into the allegations. Additionally, 61 percent of those polled believe the allegations against Donald Trump are "mostly true."
All of these numbers are having an impact on Donald Trump's approval rating. Respondents in these polls are reporting that more of them approve of Robert Mueller than Donald Trump. CNN reports that by comparison, President George W. Bush concluded his first year in office at 86 percent approval, his father President George H.W. Bush's first-year approval rating was 71 percent, and President John F. Kennedy's was 77 percent.
President Carter, President Clinton, President Obama, and Richard Nixon all had approval ratings in the "mid-to-high 50s" notes CNN.
As Donald Trump's approval rating plummets historically, chatter that he will be firing special prosecutor Robert Mueller has gained momentum this week. Now, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are putting a statement on the record about how they would respond if Donald Trump fired Robert Mueller.
MSNBC reports that Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters of California said that she would "catch the first plane smoking" if she received word that Trump fired Robert Mueller. Now, Republicans are going on record.
Earlier this year, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was one of the first to make a comment on the record about what would happen if Donald Trump tried to fire Mueller. He also said he was forming legislation to implement a "check and balance" into the potential situation for this or any other president.
"Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong. I'm working on legislation…that will say the following: 'A special counsel cannot be fired when they were impaneled to investigate the president or his team unless you have judicial review of the firing. Not just for Trump, but for any future president. We need a check and balance here."Senator Graham also referred to the "red line" on the issue, noting "the law is above any presidential red line."
"The idea that the president would fire Mueller, or have somebody fire Mueller because he doesn't like Mueller, or Mueller's doing something he doesn't like, can't be, then we become Russia. So the red line should never be drawn. The president is not in the business of drawing red lines when it comes to the law. The law is above any presidential red line."Watch that full statement here.
The legislation is still swirling the halls of Capitol Hill but has been stalled by what is being referred to as a lack of resolve on the Republicans part, reports Washington Post. The bill allows for a bipartisan panel of federal judges to review any potential firing of the special counsel. It was introduced this summer, but two bipartisan proposals have reportedly stalled it as they have been "mired in negotiations for months."
A key sticking point on the bill is a dispute over whether or not the three-judge panel would be impaneled immediately upon the firing of a special prosecutor, or if it would happen at the request of special counsel. It is unlikely there will be movement on this bill soon without more Republican support.
Democrat Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Senator Warner accused Republicans of falsely impugning Robert Mueller's character as a means to undermine the investigation. When asked by reporters if he believed Senate Republicans were complicit in not protecting the Robert Mueller investigation, Senator Warner did not give a direct answer but instead said the following.
"It's hard for me to imagine that they wouldn't be troubled by what appears to be a coordinated effort to undermine Mueller in many ways – more broadly, even the FBI."Should the bill get passed and Robert Mueller is fired, high approval ratings work in his favor and serve as evidence for the three federal judges that would be ruling on the matter. However, although higher than Trump's, support for Robert Mueller is still below 50 percent.
With these events this week, more Republicans are going on record to say keeping Robert Mueller on the job would be a good idea. The Hill reports Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy objects to a Mueller firing and said the following on the matter.
"He's the best hope for giving us a product that the largest number of Americans can accept as credible."The Hill reports that other Republican lawmakers asserting similar beliefs were Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Senator Gory Gardner for Colorado, Senator Luther Strange of Alabama, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, and Senator John Hoeven for North Dakota.
In July of this year, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine expressed her understanding of how the Robert Mueller investigation must be difficult for Donald Trump. She also said that even with that, Donald Trump needed to "step back" from commenting about Robert Mueller or his performance.
Also this year, Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York said that if Trump were to fire Mueller it would "be a disaster." He also noted he wasn't sure if Donald Trump had the legal authority to fire Mueller in the first place.
The Trump Russia scandal is not the only thing plaguing the Trump presidency, as sexual assault allegations that came out during the Elections 2016 campaign are hitting mainstream conversation again. In a second poll this week, CNN asked Americans how they felt about sexual harassment allegations against someone in office, in general.
Seventy-nine percent said they felt that how a person in office treats women is an indicator of their character. Sixty percent said that anyone in office facing sexual harassment allegations should resign.
Fifty percent said they thought Donald Trump should resign due to allegations against him, and 61 percent said they thought the allegations against him were true. Additionally, 63 percent of Americans polled believe a separate investigation in Congress should begin against the president, with the second investigation stemming from the sexual assault and sexual harassment complaints against him.