Robert Mueller continues to merit more positive than negative reviews for his handling of the Russia investigation, while President Donald Trump’s marks on handling it remain majority negative, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
The public does agree with one recent Trump decision on Russia: 53% say he should not fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Just 18% of Americans think Trump should fire the senior Justice Department official who oversees the Russia investigation.
That threat seems to have passed, for now, but in late September, the two appeared to be on a collision course after The New York Times reported Rosenstein had secretly discussed the possibility of recording conversations with Trump and of using the 25th Amendment as a way to remove Trump from office.
Rosenstein had offered his resignation and had at one point expected to be fired. But the climax of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was a distraction and Rosenstein has remained in his post.
While the poll shows a majority overall opposed to Trump pulling the plug on the Deputy AG, there are sharp differences by party. Among Republicans, 27% say the President should fire Rosenstein, 39% that he should not, with another 34% saying they’re not sure what the President should do. Democrats are firmly anti-firing: 72% say Rosenstein shouldn’t be fired vs. 12% who think he should be.
Overall, about six in 10 say the Russia investigation is a serious matter that should be fully investigated, while about a third consider it mainly an effort to discredit Trump’s presidency. Those figures have held steady in the last month.
The public’s approval ratings for Mueller (48% approve, 36% disapprove) and the President (33% approve, 54% disapprove) have also held roughly even in the last month.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS October 4 through 7 among a random national sample of 1,009 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.