How do the American people feel about two key figures involved in the Russia investigation? Both President Donald Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller received lower marks in a recent poll asking that question, although more Americans seem to trust Mueller than the president on the subject.
Most Americans disapprove of the way Trump has handled himself during the course of the investigation, according to a new CNN/SSRS poll published on Tuesday, with 29 percent approving of his handling of the investigation and 57 percent disapproving. That’s a decline in the number of people who approved of the president’s handling of the inquiry, which was 33 percent in October, reported CNN.
Mueller saw a similar decline from earlier in the year, although the special counsel does receive a net-positive rating for his work on the investigation. Forty-three percent approve of his handling of the probe, while 40 percent disapprove.
This isn’t Mueller’s lowest marks on the question of how he’s handling the investigation. In June of this year, only 41 percent of Americans approved of his work. The poll on Monday finds that Trump’s marks this month tie his lowest numbers, with only 29 percent also approving of his handling of the Russia inquiry back in June as well.
— CNN (@CNN) December 11, 2018
Disapproval does not necessarily translate to a belief that one is handling their job in a negative way, of course. A number of Trump supporters may think Trump is not handling himself well in the inquiry or wish he was more aggressive in threatening Mueller, and so they may give him negative marks for failing to do so. Similarly, others may think Mueller is not targeting those involved in his investigation hard enough, and indeed 21 percent of liberal respondents were among those who gave him poor marks.
Most Americans agree, in fact, that Mueller’s investigation should continue unimpeded. Fifty-nine percent say that the inquiry should be “fully investigated,” while only 35 percent characterize it as an effort to discredit Trump, according to the poll. And fully half of respondents (50 percent) say the investigation will discover that Trump engaged in wrongdoing of some kind.
On the question of whether Trump has been truthful with the American people, the poll found that most, 54 percent, think he’s been giving public statements that are either mostly false or completely untrue. Thirty-six percent say he’s been honest for the most part.
The poll also asked respondents their views on Trump’s job overall. Just 39 percent say they approve of the president’s performance so far, while 52 percent say they disapprove.