Donald Trump's approval rating is essentially unchanged at a historically weak 39 percent after the release of the Mueller report, just three in 10 Americans accept the president’s claim to have been exonerated and 58 percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say the president lied to the public about the matters the special counsel investigated.
Nonetheless, support for impeachment is at a new low, 37 percent, in the national survey, albeit not significantly different from earlier this year. It rises to 62 percent among Democrats but falls sharply to 36 percent among independents and just 10 percent among Republicans. And while nearly six in 10 overall say Trump lied, there’s a closer division – 47-41 percent – on whether or not he obstructed justice.
The public overall appears cautiously supportive of the Mueller report, which Trump has characterized as “a total hit job.” Fifty-one percent in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, call the report fair and even-handed – just a bare majority, albeit far more than the 21 percent who say it’s unfair. Still, that leaves many, 28 percent, who are withholding judgment on whether Mueller’s report is fair or not.
While criticizing the report, Trump has claimed “complete and total exoneration” in its findings. Again the public’s response differs: Thirty-one percent say the report cleared Trump of all wrongdoing, almost entirely an ingathering of his political supporters. Many more, 53 percent, say the report did not exonerate Trump. An additional 16 percent have no opinion.
Americans know something is up, but the case against Trump has to be made cleanly and done correctly. Televised hearings, loads of them, are the way to reach the country. Democrats appear to be taking that route, and Trump is fighting every summons, every document request, and every subpoena.
Something's got to give and soon.