Trump Claims He’d Have 75 Percent Approval Were It Not For ‘Harassment’ From Russia Inquiry

On myriad issues, and not just Russia, Americans give the president low marks, making his claims seem questionable, according to several observers.

President Donald Trump, speaking behind a microphone during a press conference at the White House.
Al Drago / Getty Images

On myriad issues, and not just Russia, Americans give the president low marks, making his claims seem questionable, according to several observers.

Citing a poll that has in the past given him more generous numbers than others have, President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted that he’d have an even higher approval rating were it not for the Russia investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“Without the phony Russia Witch Hunt, and with all that we have accomplished in the last almost two years (Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judge’s, Military, Vets, etc.) my approval rating would be at 75% rather than the 50% just reported by Rasmussen,” Trump wrote in his tweet. “It’s called Presidential Harassment!”

Many took issue with Trump’s assertions, however, noting that 75 percent approval ratings were hard to come by for most presidents. The last president to get that high of an approval rating was George W. Bush, following the attacks on September 11, 2001, when he received a 90 percent approval rating, according to Gallup. Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton received highs of 69 percent and 73 percent, respectively, and former President George H.W. Bush received a high of 89 percent following victory in the first Iraq War.

TIME magazine journalist Phil Elliott noted that Trump’s approval rating wouldn’t likely be much higher, given how his own Republican Party performed in the midterm elections last month. “Presidents, especially those who just lost the House, don’t get to 75 percent approval,” he wrote in a tweet responding to the commander in chief.

CNBC’s Jacom Pramuk also pointed out that Rasmussen’s numbers have been off as of late. “Rasmussen said Republicans would win the House popular vote last month,” he wrote in a tweet responding to the president. As it turned out, Democrats won the popular vote in Congressional races across the country, including flipping a net of 40 seats in the House of Representatives, per reporting from Mother Jones.

Trump has been criticized in the past for citing only one poll, from Rasmussen, that generally skews his numbers more favorably than others, according to reporting from the Hill.

Trump blamed the Russia investigation for dragging his numbers down also. Yet other issues could be responsible for his bad ratings. A Quinnipiac Poll from September, for example, found that Trump’s standing among voters on general topics, such as whether he cared about the average American or has good leadership skills, similarly dipped into negative territories.