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Home / US / Republicans Only Group That Mostly Sees Mueller Investigation As ‘Witch Hunt’ : NPR

Republicans Only Group That Mostly Sees Mueller Investigation As ‘Witch Hunt’ : NPR



President Trump speaks to journalists before leaving the White House for California in November.

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Pool / Getty Images

President Trump speaks to journalists before leaving the White House for California in November.

Pool / Getty Images

President Trump continues to lash out against special adviser Robert Mueller and his investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. For example, Trump used the words "witch hunts" in tweets about a dozen times in the month since election day.

It appears that the sentence has remained attached to its base, according to a new NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist poll but not with the others over. Seven out of 10 Republicans are in agreement with him, while a majority of independents and 4 out of 5 Democrats consider the "right" investigation.

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"The base is solidified, but this does not give you more," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, who conducted the survey.

The polarized opinions on the special council persist amid a recent flux of developments in the Russia probe, following relative calm around the midterms. In Friday's federal courts, Mueller's team should detail how former Trump campaign president Paul Manafort would have violated his plea bargain and provide sentencing recommendations for Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, who admitted last week to lie in Congress.

In the survey, for the first time, more Americans have said they see Mueller more negatively than positively, 29 percent favorable, 33 percent unfavorable. This is a sharp decline of 7 points from the summer, when Mueller was 33% positive and 30% negative.

Mueller's decline is fueled by the Republicans – 58% have an unfavorable view of him in the most recent polls, from 46% in July. (Only 8% have a favorable opinion on him, down from 15% in July.)

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(The slight prominence in March 2018 in the table above followed several developments at the end of February in the timeline of Mueller's investigation, including financial allegations against Manafort and a guilty plea of ​​the former Manafort's partner, Rick Gates.)

The general movement on Mueller's opinions, however, falls within the margin of error of the survey and – perhaps more clearly – the former director of the FBI is not yet very known or defined. Despite Trump's wilted attacks, the plurality of Americans (39%) continues to say that they are not sure of their feelings towards Mueller or of never having heard of them.