The day after Donald Trump told cheering supporters at an Indiana rally that the Robert Mueller investigation into his campaign's ties with Russia was "disgraceful," according to a USA Today report — and even condemned the investigation as "illegal" in earlier remarks Thursday — a wide-ranging new poll finds that Trump's campaign against the Mueller investigation is failing with the American public.
The new survey conducted by The Washington Post/ABC News finds that 63 percent of Americans say that they support the Mueller investigation — with more than half, 52 percent, saying that they "strongly" support the Trump-Russia probe.
Only 29 percent said that they oppose Mueller's investigation, with a mere 20 percent — just one out of five — "strongly" opposing the ongoing probe, which has so far resulted in five Trump campaign associates being conducted of or pleading guilty to federal crimes, according to Reuters.
Narrowing the results down to registered voters only, rather than "all adults," the WaPo/ABC poll found the results basically the same, as 62 percent supported the Mueller investigation and 52 percent said their feelings of support for the probe were "strong." At the same time, 30 percent of registered voters oppose the Mueller investigation, with 21 percent saying they oppose the Mueller probe "strongly."
"The poll finds that there are clear limitations to Trump's efforts all summer to politicize and discredit the Russia investigation," wrote The Post's Philip Rucker and Scott Clement. "(Trump) has fired a near-daily barrage of tweets labeling the probe a 'witch hunt' and attacking the credibility of Mueller and several current and former Justice Department officials."
Indeed, Trump has mentioned Mueller 44 times in Twitter messages since March 17, according to the Trump Twitter Archive database, referring to Mueller and the investigation as "conflicted," "a National Disgrace," "Disgusting," and "rigged." In one Twitter post, Trump claimed without citing any specifics that Mueller is biased against him because "we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship."
In another Twitter post, Trump compared Mueller to the Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, who led a hunt for "communists" in the United States government in the 1950s, costing 2,000 government employees their jobs, according to History.com. McCarthy's unsubstantiated accusations led his anti-communist crusade to be labeled a "witch hunt," a term that Trump has appropriated for his own attacks on Mueller.
But according to the new poll results, Trump's attacks have been largely futile. While Trump has also attacked his own attorney general Jeff Sessions for recusing himself and allowing the Mueller investigation to proceed, the Washington Post/ABC News poll found only 23 percent of Americans saying they take Trump's side in the conflict, while 62 percent take Sessions' side.