Americans are getting a little squeamish about the connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and they don’t exactly trust the Trump administration to sort it out. In fact, 55 percent in a new CNN/ORC poll say they are concerned by reports that many in Trump’s entourage had communications with Russian operatives. Even more—about two-thirds—want an independent inquiry into the matter that won’t be overseen by Trump administration officials, writes Jennifer Agiesta.
Among Republicans, a majority feel Congress can handle the investigation, but a sizable 43% support the call for a special prosecutor, as do majorities of Democrats (82%) and independents (67%). Overall, the poll finds that 65% would rather see a special prosecutor handle the investigation, while 32% think Congress is capable of handling it.
Views of whether Russia attempted to influence the US election at all are becoming increasingly polarized when compared with a January CNN/ORC poll. In the new survey, more Democrats say it’s extremely likely that the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia did attempt to influence the US election is correct than said so before the inauguration (47% in January, 52% now) while more Republicans now say that it’s not at all likely to be correct (from 12% in January to 27% now).
The fact that 43 percent of Republicans support appointing a special prosecutor offered a glimmer of hope for a second—before getting to that last line, where an increasing number of conservatives totally reject the assessment of 17 intelligence agencies. At least it’s only 27 percent.
In any case, the Russia reports have raised a brow among most Americans (55 percent) and fully 65 percent favor learning the unvarnished truth. Nothing about those numbers will inspire confidence in Trump among skittish Republicans on the Hill.
Apparently Jeff Sessions’ recusal from Trump/Russia investigations, which only came after reports proved that he had lied under oath, haven’t convinced Americans that allowing Trump officials to investigate Trump officials will produce an unbiased result.