More Americans would be more confident in facts presented by special counsel Robert Mueller than President Donald Trump, according to a recent poll by The Washington Post and George Mason University’s Schar School.
The poll, conducted Feb. 6-10, showed 56 percent of respondents were more inclined to accept a version of the facts from Mueller, while 33 percent put more trust in Trump’s accounts. Respondents were selected randomly; 32 percent identified as Democratic, 39 percent as independent and 26 percent as Republican.
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Mueller is leading an investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has repeatedly denounced Mueller’s efforts as a “witch hunt,” and said in his State of the Union address that “ridiculous partisan investigations” were holding back American progress.
Respondents to the Post-Schar poll felt differently: 57 percent of respondents said Mueller is interested in finding the truth, while 36 percent said he is trying to hurt Trump politically.
Mueller’s team has indicted more than 30 individuals and Russian companies — including members of Trump’s inner circle — on a litany of charges, from campaign finance fraud to lying to Congress. Eight individuals have pleaded guilty or been convicted in charges related to Mueller’s investigation.
There was less consensus over what Mueller has found, with respondents split along partisan lines on whether Mueller has proved coordination between Trump’s team and Russia. Mueller has not charged any members of Trump’s campaign in connection with Russian efforts to hack Democratic emails and orchestrate social media fronts to sway the election.
The responses reflect the partisan divisions on Capitol Hill, where the House and Senate intelligence committees appear to be falling along party lines over whether Trump colluded with Russia.
The House committee ended its probe into the election last year while under Republican leadership, much to the consternation of House Democrats, who pledged to reopen the probe after retaking control. The Senate committee, which has maintained a reputation as a bipartisan holdout, showed signs of partisan fraying when Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told CBS News the committee had not yet found evidence of collusion.
Respondents were nearly unified, however, on wanting to see the results of the Mueller investigation, with 81 percent saying they believed Mueller’s entire report should be made public. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, did not say he would release the full report during his Senate confirmation hearing. He said he would provide his own summary of the report to Congress. Still, Barr said he would try to make the summary as exhaustive as is “consistent with the regulations and the law.”