Nearly half of Americans believe Trump committed a crime: poll

Most Americans approve of Mueller's handling of the Russia investigation, despite Trump's attacks on it

Published November 3, 2017 3:36PM (EDT)

 (Getty/Ralph Freso)
(Getty/Ralph Freso)

President Donald Trump may be apprehensive about the ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller III, and a new survey suggests that at least when it comes to the views of the American public, he has good reason to be.

Forty-nine percent of Americans surveyed in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll believe that Trump likely committed a crime related to the alleged Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 election, according to The Washington Post. While more of these individuals believe this due to suspicion rather than the available evidence, other numbers indicate that Trump's image has taken a hit due to Mueller's probe.

For instance, despite Trump's attempts to discredit the Mueller probe, 58 percent of Americans approve of how the special prosecutor has handled the investigation, with only 28 percent disapproving of Mueller's performance. Fifty-three percent of the respondents said that the charges and plea by George Papadopoulos — a former Trump adviser who, unlike Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, is confronting matters that directly pertain to alleged interactions with Russia on behalf of Trump's campaign — reflect a wider scandal within Trump's campaign.

Not surprisingly, there is a strong partisan split in the results. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats approve of Mueller's investigation while only 38 percent of Republicans feel likewise. Then again, 56 percent of independents approve of Mueller's performance, suggesting that the overall tide is running against Trump on the issue of the Russia scandal.

Even worse for Trump, Republicans have joined Democrats in supporting the charges against former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats feel that way.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump George Papadopoulos Paul Manafort Rick Gates Robert Mueller Trump-russia Investigation