Donald Trump's approval rating plunges to new low in latest poll over handling of Russia investigation

CBS found approval of President dropped to 36 per cent

Rachael Revesz@RachaelRevesz
Tuesday 20 June 2017 13:28
Most Americans believe James Comey is telling the truth and prosecutor Robert Mueller is impartial
Most Americans believe James Comey is telling the truth and prosecutor Robert Mueller is impartial

Donald Trump’s handling of the Russia investigation has pushed him towards an even lower approval rating, a new poll has found.

A CBS survey of more than 1,000 adults across the US discovered that just 36 per cent approve of the President, five months into his first term, the lowest point recorded so far.

One catalyst for those relatively poor ratings is the on-going investigation into ties between Russia and his administration before the election. CBS found that a third of Americans disproved of the President’s approach to the issue – Mr Trump has repeatedly called the investigation “fake news” and a “witch hunt” and fired James Comey, former director of the FBI, who was leading the investigation.

Despite the President speaking against Special Counsel prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is now leading the Russia investigation, more than half of those surveyed – 56 per cent – believe Mr Mueller is impartial and should be allowed to act unhindered.

Mr Trump appeared to have confirmed that he was being investigated for links to Russia himself when he tweeted about Mr Mueller: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt."

Americans are split, however, when it comes to whether the potential ties with Russians have serious consequences.

Most Republicans do not think the President did anything wrong at all relating to Russia, the survey found, but six in 10 Americans overall believe Russia tried to interfere in the presidential election.

Only one third of Republicans think the Russia links are a matter of national security, a view which is peddled by the likes of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

When Mr Comey testified under oath about his dismissal this month, his account of meeting the President disputed Mr Trump’s version, and both said they hoped that there were “tapes” of the conversation to prove them right. More than half of those surveyed by CBS, 57 per cent, are on team Comey.

Senator Kamala Harris and Jeff Sessions have testy exchange in Senate hearing over Russia

But even general support for Mr Trump among his party has dwindled, from 83 per cent in April to 72 per cent in June.

The CBS survey phoned 1,117 adults between 15 and 18 June by landline and cell phone, in English and Spanish.

The margin of error is 4 points.

Mr Trump tweeted on 18 June a new Rasmussen Poll, which found that he had a 50 per cent approval rating, a stark contrast to most other polls and higher than any other rating by at least eight percentage points.

Real Clear Politics calculated an average approval rating of 40 per cent, based on figures from several polls including Rasmussen, Gallup, CNBC and Quinnipiac.

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