Most Americans Support Mueller Probe Of Russia, Trump Campaign, And Trump Businesses

Given a choice between Robert Mueller and Donald Trump, most Americans are siding with Mueller. Unless they're Republicans that is.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that most Americans support Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as ties between Russia and the Trump campaign:

A clear majority of Americans support special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged collusion with President Trump’s campaign, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

The results show backing for inquiries into Trump’s orbit on several fronts.

Nearly 7 in 10 adults say they support Mueller’s focus on possible collusion with Russia. Sixty-four percent say they want the special counsel investigating Trump’s business activities. And a 58 percent majority supports investigating alleged payments by Trump associates to silence women who say they had affairs with him.

The broad public mandate for Mueller’s investigation comes as many Trump allies are calling for the president to thwart the special counsel’s work. Trump has considered ousting the Justice Department official overseeing the probe, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein — a move that some Trump associates hope would cripple the inquiry.

Trump this week blasted the Russia investigation as “never ending and corrupt.”


Support for Mueller’s investigation also splits sharply across partisan lines. Over half of Republicans oppose the probing of each subject tested in the survey. A narrow 51 percent majority of Republicans oppose Mueller investigating possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government in 2016, while a larger 62 percent oppose investigation of Trump’s businesses, and 64 percent oppose investigating if there were hush-money payments to Trump’s alleged mistresses.

Democrats are more united, with over 8 in 10 expressing support for Mueller investigating each issue. Independents undergird support for Mueller’s probe, with 7 in 10 saying he should investigate Russian interference, 65 percent saying he should examine Trump’s business activity and 59 percent saying he should probe alleged hush-money payments.

Beyond Mueller’s probe, a narrow 51 percent majority say the question of whether Trump engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct is an important issue, while 46 percent say it’s not. Opinions overall are fairly similar to two decades ago when Post and ABC polls found nearly half saying repeated misconduct was an important issue for President Bill Clinton.

But the partisan balance has flipped. The share of Republicans saying sexual misconduct by the president is an important issue has fallen from 70 percent under Clinton to 25 percent under Trump, while the issue has grown in importance among Democrats, from 38 percent under Clinton to 75 percent under Trump.

Men and women differ significantly on two questions about Trump’s relations with women. Women are 14 percentage points more likely to say it’s important whether or not Trump engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct, 58 percent compared with 44 percent for men. And women are 15 points more likely to support Mueller investigating hush-money payments to women who say they had affairs with Trump, 65 percent to 50 percent.

The tale of the tape can be seen in these two charts, which show the partisan breakdown on questions regarding Mueller’s probe of various aspects of the President’s business and personal life:


The partisan breakdown isn’t surprising, of course. Outside of the small cadre of “NeverTrumpers” that are still out there and making their voices heard, the majority of the Republican Party has turned into a tribe of sycophants, sellouts, and cowards who, along with Trump’s fanatical base, are either too craven or too scared to speak out against a clearly unhinged President who seems more interested in protecting himself than governing. This is why we’re seeing things such as the President lashing out at James Comey on Twitter, and the rest of the Republican Party is falling in line behind him with a campaign centered around a party-established website called “Lyin’ Comey”, and it’s why we’re seeing polling numbers such as these. If it weren’t so entirely predictable, it would be utterly predictable.

What all of this suggests, of course, is that the Trump Administration’s current strategy of seeking to undermine and obstruct the Mueller investigation will likely continue since it is accomplishing Trump’s primary goal of keeping his base together as long as possible. As has been the case since he became a candidate, the President doesn’t care about those opposed to him, nor does he really care about the rule of law. The only thing that matters to him is protecting himself and those around him and, of course, feeding the troll army that defends him in the media on a regular basis no matter how outrageous, ridiculous, and potentially even illegal his behavior, rhetoric, and actions may be. This portends a future that is only likely to get more contentious and to test the boundaries of the Rule of Law, the Constitution, and our democratic institution even further than they have been tested over the past fifteen months.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Intelligence, National Security, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. KM says:

    Mueller’s getting results. It’s really hard to argue with a criminal investigation that keeps turning up criminals unless you advocating My Guy, Right or Wrong. Crying about scope is a way of saying they’re finding real dirt so you want them to stop digging.

    Wasn’t the Republican taunt that if Dems had wanted to win, they shouldn’t have run “Crooked Hillary”? Well, if the GOP didn’t want Mueller up in their business, they shouldn’t have run “Dirty Don”!

  2. CSK says:

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Trump is going to can Rosenstein and Sessions. Rosenstein has told friends that he’s preparing to be fired.

  3. Kathy says:

    I wish a reporter would ask Trump “Are you eager to keep Mueller from finishing his investigation because he may uncover your crimes or illegal activities unrelated to collusion with Russia”?

  4. MarkedMan says:

    There are some things that sound trite and goody-goody, but nevertheless turn out to be true. One of them is that if you get close to someone like Trump, you’ll come away covered with sh*t. Trump’s supporters tell themselves that he may be a dirtbag, but he’s their dirtbag and they will use him to get stuff accomplished. But this type of cynicism is naive cynicism. Look at all the people who signed up for Trump’s administration. They all thought that whatever happened to Trump they would have the glory of “Cabinet Secretary” or “Attorney General” attached to their names. The reality is that everyone associated with him is covered in sh*t stink and no one wants t get close to them. Fox News can only employ so many loud mouth pundits, and even that must be a bitter brew when your all-but-signed-in-blood job there consists of constant sycophantic praise for the moron who no doubt humiliated you repeatedly right before he fired you. And now that Trump’s fixer is in the docket, lord only knows who else is going to get dragged down. Trump hung around with perverts and skeeves, but we really only know with certainty about one (a particular piece of human excrement that Trump used to brag was a good friend who liked to party and “liked ’em young” and who is now serving time for raping young children). The rest have been rumors. But how many of them took the Donald’s advice about the great lawyer Michael Cohen who can get them out of anything? How many reporters are digging into this? How many disgruntled associates? And how much will just come to the public’s eye during the inevitable stuff that comes out as various sleezeballs are charged and adjudicated?

  5. reid says:

    Doug, you seem “conservative-sympathetic”, since I think you’ve claimed you were never a Republican, and I appreciate that you’re being so forceful in your denunciation of this administration. It’s all so laughably over the line of indecency and idiocy that I just can’t believe there aren’t more like you (and James). Of course there’s a hard-core lunatic 10+% fringe, which is sad enough, but so many mainstream Republicans say nothing or even support it. What have we become. Someone somewhere (Moscow? Koch Manor? Fox HQ?) is laughing about how unbelievably successful their plan has been.

  6. CSK says:

    And federal authorities have announced that Michael Cohen is officially “under criminal investigation.”

  7. Kathy says:

    If Trump were to fire Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller, or a combination of the three, what effect would that have on the midterm elections?

  8. CSK says:


    May I quote from the Beatles songbook? “There’s gonna be a revolution…”

  9. Kathy says:


    Does Trump either know or care about this?

  10. CSK says:


    I don’t think he cares that firing Sessions and Rosenstein, and possibly Mueller, could initiate a constitutional crisis and massive unrest. Hell, I don’t think that impinges on his consciousness. He wants to get back at the people who don’t revere him. He wants to get back at the people who don’t believe that their first and only duty is unquestioning loyalty to him and whatever whim flits through what passes for his brain. And most of all, he wants to get back at the guy who wrote in a book, for everyone to read, that his hands aren’t that big.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Midterms? If he fires Mueller, there may very well be literal rioting in the streets. There’s a group that is organizing protest marches all over the country with the goal to be in the streets within hours of the firing. I signed up for DC, only to be told they were “full up” but will head there anyway. I’m only 40 minutes away.

  12. Kathy says:


    It seems to me that wrecking the country would be excessive, even for an amoral psychopath like Trump. But what really worries me, is the amount of people cheering him on as he goes about it.

  13. Kathy says:


    I’ve heard about the contingency protests. I hope you’re considering them if Rosenstein bites the dust as well.

    But Trump ought to be worried about the midterms. The Democrats seem to be ascending as it is. If he does something that proves unpopular with a large portion of independents, the blue wave may not just materialize, but sweep him clean out of office and into Leavenworth or less hospitable accommodations.

  14. CSK says:


    Those are the people to whom he listens: the troglodytes cheering him on. And you know that he believes that 80% of the country loves him.

  15. Kathy says:


    I think he’s right. About 80% of the country loves to hate him.

  16. CSK says:


    The man has absolutely no idea of what he’s doing. He looks for ways to improve his brand. He reversed himself on TPP because someone told him the farmers wouldn’t like him, even though he said they’d be understanding enough to suffer for him. He’s an idiot. He lumbers into bed–sans Melania–at 6 p.m. with his bag of cheeseburgers and fries, watches Fox, and then calls Hannity and Pirro to tell him what he should say and do.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: The call will go out if either Mueller or Rosenstein is fired. From their website:

    By firing Rosenstein or Mueller, the President would trigger a full-fledged Constitutional crisis by asserting that he is above the law. The hours following the firing will determine whether he is proved right.

    I encourage everyone to sign up for their local march

  18. Scott says:


    And federal authorities have announced that Michael Cohen is officially “under criminal investigation.”

    Anybody have a thought or idea about whether a wiretap was authorized for Cohen?

  19. Joe says:

    Nothing says Republican Party now a wholly owned subsidiary of Donald Trump than that Party setting up a website called Lyin’ Comey. Sad.

  20. CSK says:

    Somebody better tell Ivanka to obtain an industrial-sized butterfly net and toss it over her daddy. He’s going insane on Twitter. I mean beyond the usual insane.

  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    the majority of the Republican Party has turned into a tribe of sycophants, sellouts, and cowards who, along with Trump’s fanatical base, are either too craven or too scared to speak out against a clearly unhinged President who seems more interested in protecting himself than governing.

    Preach, Brother Doug! 🙂

    Now that’s calling it like it is …

  22. teve tory says:

    oh shit!

    Federal prosectors in New York revealed on Friday that President Trump’s longtime fixer and personal attorney Michael Cohen has been under grand jury investigation for months for alleged “criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings,” and that as part of the investigation they had obtained previously covert search warrants for multiple Cohen email accounts.


  23. CSK says:

    @teve tory:

    Cohen also does “little to no legal work,” which I think we had already surmised.

  24. teve tory says:

    Trump hires lawyer to shield items seized in FBI raid on Cohen
    Attorney Joanna Hendon, who said she was retained by the president on Wednesday evening, told a federal judge Friday that Trump has “an acute interest in this matter.”

  25. teve tory says:

    Just to keep track of this birdsnest of crime i need to go to OfficeMax and get a 4’x8′ cork board, some push pins, yarn, printer photo paper…

  26. teve tory says:

    Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier


    April 13, 2018 06:08 PM

    The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

    Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

    It would also be one of the most significant developments thus far in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of whether the Trump campaign and the Kremlin worked together to help Trump win the White House. Undercutting Trump’s repeated pronouncements that “there is no evidence of collusion,” it also could ratchet up the stakes if the president tries, as he has intimated he might for months, to order Mueller’s firing.

    Anybody who ever takes Trump’s side (“The dossier is fake!!!!11) winds up humiliated.

  27. Joe says:


    Cohen wasn’t doing legal work even when he was trying to do legal work. He’s just that bad at it.

  28. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @teve tory:

    You mean all of the evidence that Trump didn’t do anything? He’s hiring lawyers to protect evidence of – nothing.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is where the rubber hits the road. Whatever it is he’s afraid of / trying to keep quiet, it is NOT f’king a porn star & paying her to shut up about it … It’s much larger & more embarrassing / devastating than that.

    Fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be a bumpy ride … 🙂

  29. Daryl’s other brother Darryl says:
  30. michael reynolds says:

    McClatchey news is saying Mueller has evidence that Cohen was in Prague when he swore up and down he wasn’t. Another piece of the ‘dossier’ is shown to be true. The NYT says Trump is more worried about Stormy Daniels than Mueller, but I assume by Stormy Daniels he means Cohen and all the things his fixer fixed.

    Cohen was in Prague where he denied meeting with Russians and yet was in fact in Prague. The line between Stormy and Mueller is blurring. We’re getting stories that recent Trumplosions have dwarfed even previous feak-outs. Dirty Don is terrified. Coward.

  31. teve tory says:

    Not hearing much from the trumper trolls these last couple days.

  32. Scott says:

    @teve tory: We can all be John Nash of a Beautiful Mind.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    LOL, I figure we’re up to about June, 1973 now, here in Stupid Watergate. 🙂

    If they weren’t so unbelievably slimy, I would almost (I stress ‘almost’) feel sorry for these clowns. They have no idea what’s barreling down the tracks at them.

    Or, then again, maybe they do …

  34. CSK says:


    Well, Cohen is a proud graduate of the worst law school in the United States.

  35. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Amen. Did you see their recent numbers? 2018 25th %-tiles of 2.51 and 138. Out of 1,222 applicants for the Class of 2018, they extended 1,072 offers (88% acceptance rate!) It’s effectively an open admissions community college.

    Graduation +1 stats of 25.9% FT employment, median FY salary of $45K and total COE of nearly $200K as of 2015. 2015 P/F on the Michigan bar of 39/61. 39/61! (I had to look twice to make sure I was seeing the numbers correctly …)

    The place is a disaster factory churning out marginal attorneys (those relative few who even manage to pass the bar exam anyway …) who will spend their lives in perpetual debt.

  36. rachel says:


    It’s much larger & more embarrassing / devastating than that.

    It could also be much smaller and yet embarrassing and devastating, if you get my drift.

    ETA: I mean his money. Of course I mean his money. I mean that he’s probably not a real billionaire. Of course.

  37. HarvardLaw92 says:


    All I can say to that is mmhmm. He’s a clown living on credit.

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @Joe: Given the latest shenanigans we’ve discovered of Cohen acting as bagman for a Republican donor (who just happened to be deputy finance chairman of the RNC) who impregnated someone, is anyone surprised that the Republican party hasn’t done anything about Trump? It’s all one incestuous mess and they’re all terrified that the skeletons are going to start falling out of closets–and I suspect Cohen knows all about said skeletons.

  39. MarkedMan says:

    OK, I’m just freelancing here, but what are the odds that the feds had Cohen’s phone tapped? Given that ol’ Donnie gave him a personal call against the advice of his attorneys I wonder if the feds know what he said?

  40. teve tory says:

    OK, I’m just freelancing here, but what are the odds that the feds had Cohen’s phone tapped? Given that ol’ Donnie gave him a personal call against the advice of his attorneys I wonder if the feds know what he said?

    well they had warrants to surveil his email, I’m presuming they had some for phones too.

  41. teve tory says:

    We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

    -John F. Kennedy

    Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

    -Ronald W. Reagan

    Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?

    -Donald J. Trump

  42. Joe says:

    Mueller is irrelevant

    Mueller’s unethical raid on Trump’s lawyer discredited Mueller.

    In October, only 52 percent of the public believed in the probe. Now only 46% do, Rasmussen reported.

    Since the poll was taken, Mueller’s hole has gotten deeper.

    Voters More Likely Now to See Mueller Probe As Partisan Witch Hunt

  43. Grewgills says:

    From your link 46% of Likely U.S. Voters still believe Mueller’s investigation is an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing
    Forty percent (40%) now consider Mueller’s probe a partisan witch hunt
    Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided
    How do you get from that, that Mueller is now irrelevant? A plurality believe him, not that it much matters in a criminal investigation. Even your own link to the most partisan of the major pollsters doesn’t support your contention. I don’t think you understand how arguments work.

  44. An Interested Party says:

    Mueller’s unethical raid on Trump’s lawyer discredited Mueller.

    How was it “unethical”? And except for Trump sycophants like yourself, who else feels that Mueller is “discredited”? You sad delusional thing…