2018-08-31 15:21:15 UTC
Sixty percent of those polled in a new survey disapprove of President Donald
Trump's job performance, a new high for the president in polling conducted by
The Washington Post and ABC News.
The poll, released Friday and conducted just days after special counsel Robert
Mueller delivered a one-two punch to the Trump administration in federal court,
found a little more than one-third of Americans approve of Trump's job
performance. The poll was conducted last week, when former Trump campaign
chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on tax and bank fraud charges and
Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including
campaign-finance violations, in a Manhattan courtroom.
Trump's approval rating, according to the poll, was 36 percent. In the previous
Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted in April, Trump's approval rating was
40 percent and his disapproval rating was 56 percent.
The poll found most Americans would oppose Trump granting a pardon to former
associate Manafort 66 percent of respondents said they were against a pardon.
Only 18 percent said they would support a pardon.
Lately, Trump has focused significant negative attention on Attorney General
Jeff Sessions, whom Trump has blamed for Mueller's investigation of Russian
interference in the 2016 campaign. In an interview with Fox News' "Fox &
Friends," the president blasted Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia
probe and criticized him for failing to seize control of the Justice Department.
But a majority of Americans side with Sessions, with 62 percent saying they are
on his side. A slightly larger portion, 64 percent, said Trump should not fire
Special counsel Robert Mueller saw similar positive percentages 63 percent of
those polled said they support Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in
the 2016 election, and 29 percent said they oppose it, according to the poll.
Further, 53 percent of respondents said they think Trump tried to interfere in
Mueller's investigation in a way that "amounts to obstruction of justice," while
35 percent said he did not try to interfere.
A similar portion of survey respondents, 61 percent, said they believe it would
be a crime if Trump directed Cohen to make hush-money payments to two women who
say they had affairs with Trump during the 2016 election. Cohen pleaded guilty
to making payments of that nature, violating campaign- finance laws at the
"direction of a candidate for federal office," meaning Trump.
But when it comes to the economy, Americans were more favorable in their
evaluations of the president. Forty-five percent of those polled said they
approve of Trump's handling of the economy, while 47 percent said they
The poll, which included a sample of 1,003 adults, was conducted from Aug. 26 to
Aug. 29 via landlines and cellphones. The poll's margin of error was
plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.