— -- Six in 10 Americans think Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in order to protect himself rather than for the good of the country, and most think Trump is trying to interfere with official investigations of possible Russian influence in the 2016 election.
A broad seven in 10 in an ABC News/Washington Post poll also doubt Trump’s word on the Russia issue. That said, 55 percent doubt Comey’s word as well -– likely a sign of his own past controversies, as well as general distrust of Washington.
See PDF for full results, charts and tables.
With Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee today and Comey himself to do so tomorrow, the survey finds the public taking a particularly dim view of Trump in the controversy. Sixty-one percent say he ditched the director to protect himself; just 27 percent think he did it for the good of the nation.
Fifty-six percent also think Trump is trying to interfere with investigations into possible Russian interference in the election, while just a third think he’s cooperating. And 72 percent report just some or no trust in what Trump says about the issue – half, none at all. Just 21 percent report a great deal or good amount of trust in what the president says about it.
Even conservatives are about twice as apt to have low trust in what Trump says about Russian interference than to have substantial trust, 60-33 percent. And in the president’s own party, Republicans split evenly on the question of trust, 48 percent expressing distrust, 45 percent, trust.
As noted, there’s also skepticism of Comey in the poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates; 55 percent have just some or no trust in what he says about possible Russian interference. That said, distrust is 17 points lower than it is for Trump, and twice as many Americans have no trust whatsoever in what Trump says on the issue (50 percent) as have no trust at all in what Comey says (25 percent).