Americans think President Trump's conflicts of interest are unethical: poll

More than half of registered voters say Trump is either breaking the law or simply being unethical

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 23, 2017 2:35PM (EST)

 (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump's conflicts of interest appear to be resonating with Americans, despite White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's claims that "people don't care" about matters like his unreleased tax returns.

More than a quarter of registered voters — 28 percent — believe Trump has done something illegal, while an additional 25 percent believe he has behaved unethically but not illegally, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll. By contrast, only 42 percent of poll respondents think Trump has done nothing wrong, with 6 percent saying they're unsure.

Not surprisingly, there is a sharp partisan divide in these figures. While 45 percent of Democrats think Trump has behaved illegally and 34 percent believe he has behaved unethically, only 2 percent of Republicans think Trump has behaved illegally and only 10 percent believe his behavior has been unethical but not illegal. Only 13 percent of Democrats think Trump has done nothing wrong, compared to 84 percent of Republicans.

Among independents, 29 percent believe Trump's conflicts of interest have been illegal, compared to 27 percent who believe they've been merely unethical and 40 percent who believe he has done nothing wrong.

Overall the poll found that 41 percent of respondents approve of Trump's performance as president while 49 percent disapprove of it. Those figures break down as 11-81 among Democrats, 85-7 among Republicans, and 40-51 among independents.

In related news, a CBS News poll found that 61 percent of Americans say the economy is in good shape — the highest mark in ten years. In terms of issues, the top priority seems to be immigration, with 15 percent of Americans wanting President Trump and Congress to prioritize it. Only 13 percent believe they should focus on the economy and job creation and only 11 percent believe they should focus on health care.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Conflicts Of Interest Donald Trump Immigration