Majority of Americans think Trump tried to interfere in Russia investigation

Over half of Americans disapprove of Mr Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 15 June 2017 15:02
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The poll follows the blockbuster testimony from former FBI Director James Comey
The poll follows the blockbuster testimony from former FBI Director James Comey

A majority of Americans are concerned that President Donald Trump tried to interfere with the investigation into possible collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russia’s interference in the election.

Following a blockbuster Senate testimony from former FBI Director James Comey last week — whom Mr Trump fired — an Associated Press-NORC poll shows that 68 percent of Americans are very or moderately concerned the President or his campaign staff had inappropriate connexions with Russian officials last year. Nearly half of Americans say they’re very concerned, and just three in 10 say they’re not concerned.

Mr Trump fired Mr Comey last month, citing the intelligence chief’s decision to announce last year that Hillary Clinton was no longer under investigation. That rationale, though, was quickly undercut by the President himself during a nationally televised broadcast in which he said that the Russia investigation had played a part in his decision.

That disclosure was enough to get some wondering if that constituted efforts to undermine the investigation, and a series of reports since then have added to the intrigue. Memos written contemporaneously by Mr Comey after several interactions with the President say that Mr Trump urged him to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — in a private dinner just a day after Mr Flynn was forced to resign — and that the President urged Mr Comey repeatedly to announce publicly that Mr Trump was not personally under investigation.

Mr Flynn resigned less than a month into the Trump presidency after it was discovered he had misled Vice President Mike Pence by saying he had not discussed Russian sanctions with Kremlin officials during the presidential transition period. He had done so. The White House knew about the allegations for weeks before Mr Flynn’s ultimate downfall.

The new poll also indicates that Americans don’t approve of the President’s decision to fire Mr Comey in the first place. Just 22 percent of voters overall say they thought it was a good idea, and just over half say they disapprove of the firing.

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