A recent opinion poll carried out by NBC News/Wall Street Journal showed that 78 percent of Americans, a number that appears to still be growing, would prefer to see an independent commissioner or special prosecutor handle the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election, while a mere 15 percent believe congress can handle any ongoing probe.
Last week was more than just a turbulent time in Washington. President Trump fired FBI head James Comey on Tuesday, the man responsible for the investigation into Trump’s Russian ties. This latest poll was conducted between Thursday, May 11 and Saturday, May 13, just days after Comey’s ousting, among 800 adults and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The firing of the FBI director was a major upheaval in the investigation process, and these poll results reflect the current climate not only around Capitol Hill, but what is a rapidly growing consensus across the nation.
Since Comey’s dismissal, Trump and several members of his administration have tried to downplay the need for an independent commission to continue what the FBI had begun; looking into questions of Russian interference in last year’s election, as well as the possibility of members of Trump’s campaign colluding with Moscow. In fact, on Saturday the President stated in no uncertain terms that the investigation should continue to progress in “the House, the Senate, the FBI.”
According to the same poll, only 29 percent of Americans say they approve of Comey’s firing, while 38 percent disapprove. Another 32 percent of respondents don’t have enough to say on the matter, yet among those who say they have read, seen or heard “a lot” about the firing, 53 percent say they disapprove, versus 33 percent who approve. The poll also showed a partisan split when it comes to the topic of the president’s decision, with 58 percent of Republicans approving while 66 percent of Democrats disapprove of the move. One thing that is clear, however, is that very few people surveyed had no opinion at all, with low single-digit responses.
As a whole, Trump’s approval rating has remained steady at 39 percent since last Tuesday, however, 30 percent of those surveyed claimed that their impression of the president is less favorable since his decision to remove James Comey, while 61 percent say the move hasn’t impacted their impression of President Trump whatsoever.
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