NBC/WSJ Poll: Just 29 Percent Approve of Trump's Firing of James Comey
President Donald Trump talks to reporters during a meeting with Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under President Richard Nixon, in the Oval Office of the White House on May 10.Evan Vucci / AP
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Just 29 percent of Americans say they approve of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, while 38 percent disapprove, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another 32 percent of respondents don’t have enough to say on the matter.
Yet among those who say they have read, seen or heard “a lot” about the firing, 53 percent say they disapprove, versus 33 percent who approve.
The NBC/WSJ poll — conducted May 11-13, after Trump’s dismissal of Comey — doesn’t show a significant change in the president’s overall standing.
Trump’s job-approval rating stands at 39 percent, which is one point lower than last month’s NBC/WSJ survey — well within the poll’s margin of error.
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Thirty-eight percent of Americans hold a positive view of the president, while 52 percent have a negative opinion — again mostly unchanged from last month’s 39 percent positive/50 percent negative score. (By comparison, the FBI has a 52 percent positive/16 percent negative score in the new poll, and Comey’s is 18 percent positive/26 percent negative.)
And a combined 41 percent have a “great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence in Trump as president, compared with a combined 57 percent who have no or “not much” confidence — again mostly unchanged from April’s poll.
Thirty percent say Trump’s decision to fire Comey has given them a less favorable impression of the president, versus only six percent who say they have a more favorable view; 61 percent maintain that the firing hasn’t changed their opinion of Trump.
By party, 58 percent of Republicans say they approve of Trump’s firing of Comey, while 66 percent of Democrats disapprove. Independents break 36 percent disapprove, 21 percent approve.
Seventy-Eight Percent Prefer Russia Probe Outside of Congress
Forty-six percent of Americans, including 74 percent of Democrats, say they agree with the statement that Trump fired Comey to slow down the FBI investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.
That’s compared with 38 percent of respondents, including nearly two-thirds of Republicans, who agree that firing was due to how Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
A combined 65 percent say they have a “great deal” of confidence or “some” confidence in the FBI’s ability to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, versus a combined 40 percent who say the same of Congress.
And asked if they prefer Congress or an independent commission or special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s involvement, just 15 percent pick Congress, while 78 percent support an independent commission or special prosecutor.
The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted May 11-13 of 800 adults – including nearly half by cell phone – and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.
Mark Murray is a senior political editor at NBC News.