Political News

Poll: Trump finances fair game in Russia investigation

Posted August 10

Seventy percent of Americans believe the federal investigation into Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election in the US should be able to look into President Donald Trump's finances, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Sixty percent of those polled view the probe as a serious matter that should be fully investigated, and a significant minority, 38%, view it as an effort to discredit Trump's presidency. By a roughly two-to-one margin, those polled disapprove of the way Trump is handling the Russia probe (59% disapprove, 31% approve).

RELATED: One year into the FBI's Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail

Trump has frequently called the investigation headed by former FBI director Robert Mueller and congressional inquiries a "witch hunt" in tweets, and his firing of FBI director James Comey led to the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department investigation.

The President's handling of the investigation merits far lower approval ratings within the GOP than his overall performance so far does. While 83% of Republicans say they approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency so far, just 56% feel the same way about his handling of the Russia investigation. Democrats (81%) and independents (59%) mostly disapprove of Trump's handling of the investigation.

Still, Republicans are more likely than others to say Trump's finances ought to be off-limits to the investigation (52% feel that way, 41% believe his finances should be on the table). Among Democrats and independents, large majorities say that whether the President had any financial dealings with Russia is a fair question (91% of Democrats and 72% of independents say that).

The poll was conducted last Thursday through Sunday, in the wake of news that federal investigators working on the probe are looking in to whether Trump and his associates have financial ties to Russia.

And news emerged Wednesday that FBI agents raided the home of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in late July, seizing documents including financial and tax records.

RELATED: FBI raided Manafort home as part of Russia probe

Only about half of Americans (51%) say Mueller will be able to conduct a thorough investigation free from outside influence, 40% say he will not be able to do that and 10% are unsure. Republicans (49%) and Trump supporters (52%) express greater skepticism about that than Democrats and those who disapprove of Trump (32% each).

Partisanship seems to drive overall views of the Russia investigation as well, according to the poll. While 87% of Democrats call the investigation itself a serious matter, just 23% of Republicans agree.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the investigation is a rare exception to the partisan divide. Overall, 67% say Sessions did the right thing by stepping away from the investigation, 27% say he did the wrong thing. More than six in 10 across party lines (62% of Republicans, 67% of independents and 72% of Democrats) consider it the right move.

Perceptions of Russia as a threat to the US are largely unchanged since a March CNN/ORC poll. Overall, 35% call Russia a "very serious" threat and another 37% consider the country a moderately serious threat. The "very serious" share (up an insignificant one point since March) remains at its highest level since a 1983 assessment of the Soviet Union found that 49% considered it a "very serious" threat.

This CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS by telephone August 3 through 6 among a random national sample of 1,018 adults. The margin of sampling error for results among the full sample is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.


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  • Chris Perdue Aug 10, 10:16 a.m.
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    I know how all of that works. I was just making the point that selected polling data is used by the media to push their agenda. If it doesn't fit their agenda, then they never use it or cite the polls.

  • Raleigh Rose Aug 10, 9:57 a.m.
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    The voter ID issue is tied to rights granted in the Constitution. Majority rule doesn't matter in cases where there is a potential for taking away someone's rights. If there is a strong enough majority you can try to pass an amendment, but it still needs to be lawful. If the majority of the country wanted Sharia Law, would you be okay with that if you were in the minority?

    I'm not arguing one way or another on voter ID, I'm just pointing out why it's not as simple as majority rule.

  • Raleigh Rose Aug 10, 9:53 a.m.
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    His worst days are better than Obama? Are you for real? That's just funny.

  • Albert Holmes Aug 10, 9:45 a.m.
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    CNN doing the polls and we are suppose to believe them. Between the dumbocrats and the news media this man will never be good enough. Hate to tell you but if you were to leave him alone he may be the best thing that ever happened to the USA ! His worst days are better than Obama !

  • Cynthia Wilson Aug 10, 9:38 a.m.
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    Yes Raleigh Rose I agree.
    I hope this will cause change and make it a requirement for the Present and congress. There shouldn't be anything to hide.

  • Raleigh Rose Aug 10, 9:28 a.m.
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    In any investigation you should follow the money.

  • Chris Perdue Aug 10, 9:11 a.m.
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    Every poll I have seen has 70-80% support for Voter ID. I guess that means we should implement that ASAP as well. Love how the media only cites polls that fit their agenda.

  • Steve Escabar Aug 10, 8:39 a.m.
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    CNN is probably one of the most reputable cable news networks out there.

  • Wayne Hill Aug 10, 8:31 a.m.
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    "CNN polling data." Yeah, reminds me of my college statistics professor stating you can bend any data to match the results you want. CNN has a horrible track record with facts and the truth. They are the champions of Fake News. WRAL tends to dilute their credibility when they cut and paste CNN articles in lieu of journalism.

  • George Orwell Aug 10, 8:23 a.m.
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    What's he hiding? Quite sad that the only reason the POSUS has to refuse to release his tax returns is that he always has to have his way every time like the huffy man-child that he is. If there's another reason apart from his pre-adolescent petulance then he needs to clearly state what that reason is, or else quit whining and playing the victim.

    And release his tax returns.

    Might boost his approval rating. Some.