WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (CBS) — A newly released national poll suggests President Trump’s job approval numbers are trending negative as more Americans are worried about his relationship with Russia.
Pollsters at Monmouth University actually extended their poll by a day because news was changing so rapidly on the question.
“Trump’s approval rating is at 39%, and his disapproval rating is at 53%. That’s a drop from 43 to 46 rating that he got two months ago,” poll director Patrick Murray told KYW Newsradio.
What may be of greater concern, he suggests, is whether the President’s contacts with Russia might leave an impression with voters of a potential security threat to this country.
“We found, overall, a split of 48% who said it does and 46% who said it doesn’t,” Murray added.
Timing of the interview could well be crucial on this particular issue.
Murray says before word got out on Monday that Mister Trump shared critical intelligence data with Russian diplomats during a closed-door White House meeting the previous week, most people weren’t all that worried. After that, sentiment went the other way.
The extension of the survey allowed the question to be posed for three days before the revelation on Monday and two days afterward.
Half of the respondents did not like the President’s move to fire FBI Director James Comey, with only one in five buying the White House explanation that the move was prompted by the manner in which the probe of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails while heading the State Department was handled.
And 59% believe the firing was meant to impede the probe into alleged Russian interference in last November’s Presidential election.
The survey was completed before Wednesday’s announcement that former FBI Director Robert Mueller would be a special counsel to handle the Russian probe.