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Trump approval rating poll: Disapproval hits new high

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U.S.
President Donald Trump sits behind his desk as he announces a
bilateral trade agreement with Mexico to replace the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the White House in
Washington.

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  • A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows 60%
    disapproval for President Donald Trum, and indicates his
    efforts to undermine the Russia probe and Attorney General Jeff
    Sessions are falling flat. 
  • A healthy majority of respondents expressed support for
    special counsel Robert Mueller and Sessions, despite Trump’s
    almost daily public attacks upon both. 
  • Trump has stepped up his efforts to undermine both in
    recent weeks, strongly hinting in a Thursday interview that
    Sessions could be gone after the midterm elections.

An ABC News/Washington Post
poll
 released Friday found President Donald Trump’s
disapproval rating among Americans hit a new high of 60% and
suggested his escalating attacks against the Department of
Justice and Russia probe could be backfiring.

The poll was conducted among a random sampling of over
1,000 adults between August 26-29, the week after two significant
legal developments related to Trump. Trump’s former campaign
chairman Paul Manafort was convicted by a jury on eight counts of
tax and bank fraud. And Trump’s longtime former lawyer Michael
Cohen implicated Trump in his guilty
plea
to violating federal campaign finance and corporate
contribution laws. 

In an effort to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe
into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump
campaign’s potential role in it, Trump has stepped up his public attacks
of Mueller himself, other officials within the Justice
Department, and his own attorney general. 

Yet despite round-the-clock efforts on Twitter and in public
statements, a healthy majority of Americans say they support
Mueller.

Overall, 63% of those polled expressed support of the Mueller
investigation, with 29% opposing it. Trump frequently refers to
the probe as “rigged” and a “witch hunt,” recently going as far
to call Mueller, a former FBI director, “disgraced and
discredited” and claiming his appointment was illegal. 

A resounding 67% believe Mueller’s prosecution of Manafort, who
is set to face a second trial in September, was justified. Trump
consistently decried the prosecution of
Manafort
on fraud charges as “unfair” and “very sad.”
Sixty-six percent of respondents believe Trump should not pardon
Manafort, a move Trump has not completely ruled out. 

Despite Trump’s recent
lashing out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions
over his
recusal from overseeing the Mueller probe, which prompted
Sessions to issue a rare public rebuke, almost two-thirds of
those polled opposed Sessions being fired.

Only 23% thought Trump’s criticism of Sessions for removing
himself from overseeing the investigation due to his involvement
in the campaign was valid. 

A slim majority, 53% of respondents, said they believed Trump had
interfered in the Mueller probe in a way that constituted
criminal obstruction of justice. A slightly larger 61% said they
believed Cohen’s bombshell claim that he violated federal law “at
the direction” of Trump. 

Opinions to whether Trump should be impeached were divided
strongly along partisan lines, with 75% of Democrats agreeing
Congress should begin impeachment proceedings, 82% of Republicans
disagreeing, and independents roughly split on the issue. 

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