A majority of Americans believe President Donald Trump has attempted to interfere in the Russia probe, a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows. The poll, which was released on Thursday (15 June), also revealed that only one in five Americans support Trump's decision to sack James Comey from the post of FBI director.
According to the poll, 68% of Americans are at least moderately concerned about the probability that Trump or his campaign had inappropriate connections to Russia. About half of Americans said they are very concerned and only 3 in 10 said they are not that concerned.
As expected, the issue fell along partisan lines, with 62% of Republicans saying they are not very concerned or not at all concerned about Russian ties. According to the AP, of the six in 10 Americans who believe Trump tried to obstruct the investigation, a majority are Democrats and independents.
Just over half of respondents said they disapproved of Trump's decision to oust Comey, but that number jumps to 79% among Democrats. Only 22% of Americans support the decision to fire Comey, the poll found.
Sandra Younger, a 50-year-old from San Diego, told the AP that Comey's firing reinforced her concerns that "something fishy" was going on between Trump and Russia.
"If I had nothing to hide and someone wanted to investigate, I would say, 'Go ahead, do your thing, I don't care, because you won't find anything,'" the Democrat said. Younger said that Trump "seems to be buddy-buddy with these epic creeps".
William Shepherd, a 40-year-old from Anderson, Indiana, disagreed. Shepherd said it was the president's prerogative to pick his FBI director. He added that he was not troubled by claims that Trump attempted to get Comey to drop the investigation because they emerged after Comey's firing.
"These headlines don't really concern me, although they are attention-grabbers," the Republican said.
The poll also discovered that Americans have mixed feelings about the Justice Department investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Only 26% are very or extremely confident the probe can be fair and impartial. While 36% are moderately confident and an equal share are not very confident or are not at all confident.
About 29% of Americans said they have a great deal of confidence in the people leading the FBI. Another 52% said they have a moderate amount of confidence and 18% said they have hardly any confidence. Democrats (38%) are more likely than Republicans (24%) to have a great deal of confidence in the FBI, the AP reported.