Just 29% of Americans approve of President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows.
Another 38 percent disapprove, while 32 percent said they hadn’t yet formed an opinion on the matter – meaning some Americans are still malleable on the issue, but early numbers don’t inspire a lot of confidence for Trump.
Pollsters also asked survey respondents what they thought the president’s motives were for firing the FBI director, whose agency was looking into ties between the 2016 election year hacks and Trump’s presidential campaign.
Forty-six percent of Americans said they agreed with the statement that Trump fired Comey to slow down the FBI’s investigation.
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Diving deeper into the numbers, Trump’s decision to fire Comey was most approved of by his fellow Republicans.
Fifty-eight percent of GOP respondents said they approved of Trump’s decision, which was announced Tuesday, while just 8 percent of Republicans disapproved.
Another 33 percent of Republicans said they had no opinion.
Despite Comey’s late-in-the-game letter, which Clinton has pointed to as part of what can be blamed for her dramatic election loss, just 9 percent of Democrats approved of Trump’s decision to let Comey go.
Another 66 percent said they disapproved of the president’s decision, while 24 percent had no opinion.
Twenty-one percent of independents said they approved of Trump’s decision to ax Comey, while 36 percent of independents disapproved.
So far, Trump’s decision to fire Comey hasn’t moved his overall approval ratings.
While still low – sitting currently at 39 percent – that’s only a one-point drop in the last month, which is within the survey’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percent.
A majority, 61 percent, said Trump’s firing of Comey hasn’t changed their opinion of Trump, though 30 percent said it gave them a less favorable impression of the commander-in-chief.
Comey’s ouster didn’t win over a lot of Americans either, with just 6 percent saying they now like Trump more.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents hold a positive view of the president, while 52 percent view him negatively, which are similar numbers to how Trump was viewed last month.
The FBI, as an agency, is viewed more positively than the president at 52 percent positive, while Comey, a lesser-known name, was viewed positively by just 18 percent of the poll’s respondents, and negatively by 26 percent.
The FBI was viewed negatively by 16 percent of those polled.
Sixty-five percent said they either have a ‘great deal’ or ‘some’ confidence in the FBI to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Just 40% say the same thing of Congress, as both House and Senate committees have taken up probes.
When respondents were asked if they preferred Congress or an independent commission or special prosecutor to investigate Russia, only 15 percent of Americans chose Congress.
Another 78 percent wanted to see an independent commission or special prosecutor take on the task.