A new poll released on Thursday has revealed that a majority of Americans suspect Trump or his team of colluding with the Russians in the 2016 election. According to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, 68 percent feel at least moderately concerned that Trump or people involved in his campaign had “inappropriate contact with members of the Russian government.”
Despite Trump’s numerous attempts to spin the story as fake news drummed up by the mainstream media, most Americans have some suspicion that collusion did, in fact, occur. And almost half of them (48 percent) say they are “extremely or very concerned” about this inappropriate contact.
The findings suggest that Trump’s crusade against the mainstream media — what he calls the “fake news media” — has failed to sway the majority of Americans into distrusting what they hear from these media outlets.
Many of the big-name news organizations have been tenacious in their efforts at keeping the Russia story constantly in the spotlight. And Trump, though he often rejects news stories which are unfavorable to him as being “fake news,” nonetheless seems particularly committed to dismissing any media speculation over the Russia story as patently false.
Indeed, Trump has tweeted about it frequently, argued about it in interviews, and deputized White House insiders, such as Kellyanne Conway and Reince Priebus, to vehemently deny the claims on air.
Trump even tried to persuade Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, and Adm. Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, into releasing public statements denying any ties between his campaign and those responsible for meddling in the election.
68% of Americans think President Trump interfered with Russia probe: poll https://t.co/p3QJjpHClV— TIME (@TIME) June 15, 2017
But his push to discredit these news organizations and downplay the allegations has largely come up short. Only 30 percent of people consider themselves “not very or not at all concerned” about the possibility of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russian officials, according to the poll.
The poll also mentioned that a majority of Americans likewise believe President Trump deliberately tried to obstruct or impede the Russia investigation, with 60 percent of citizens holding that view.
Yet despite these majorities, the poll also demonstrated how partisan many of these issues still remain.
More Republicans, for instance, approve rather than disapprove of President Trump’s firing of the former FBI Director, James Comey. Democrats, on the other hand, widely disapprove of Trump’s decision to do so.
Poll: Do Americans believe Trump is impeding Russia investigation? https://t.co/9Yf4SgIItW— VeteransUnited March (@VetsUnitedMarch) June 16, 2017
The only place where Republicans and Democrats largely agree is in their skepticism over the impartiality of the investigation. Only 27 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of Republicans believe the Justice Department’s investigation will be fair and impartial.
Although Donald Trump may not have convinced a majority of people in the U.S. that the Russia story is fake news, he has nonetheless retained a significant share of his Republican support. And this fact may, after all, imply that his bashing of the mainstream media has had some effect on keeping those within his party hostile towards this negative coverage.
In any case, the poll does reveal at least one finding that’s perfectly simple and clear: America remains as polarized as ever when it comes to some of the biggest issues facing the country today.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]