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Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose firing Jeff Sessions, back Mueller probe

Posted at 10:14 AM, Aug 31, 2018

Nearly two-thirds of American adults do not want President Donald Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and say they support special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a new poll finds.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll, released Friday, also finds that 60% of Americans disapprove of Trump's job performance.

Sixty-four percent of respondents -- including 47% of Republicans -- do not believe Trump should fire Sessions, while 19% believe the President should dismiss his attorney general. Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions' handling of the Justice Department, particularly after he recused himself from the Russia investigation, and he suggested as recently as Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg that he could replace him after the midterms.

As for Mueller -- whose investigation Trump called "illegal" in the Bloomberg interview -- 63% of respondents support his investigation while 29% oppose.

Trump's 36% job approval is a slight tick downward from April, when the outlets last measured Americans' views of Trump and found him at 40%. The most recent poll was conducted immediately after the death of Sen. John McCain, with whom Trump frequently feuded, and the controversy over the White House's belated tribute to his life.

The poll also comes in the wake of last week's guilty verdicts in the trial of Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on various tax and banking charges and a plea deal with the President's former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, who admitted to several campaign finance violations and implicated Trump in a hush money scheme to silence women alleging affairs with the former businessman.

The New York Times has reported that Trump has discussed pardoning Manafort, but respondents in the Washington Post-ABC News poll firmly oppose such a move, 66% to 18%. Meanwhile, 61% believe that Trump committed a crime if he told Cohen to pay off the women, compared to 31% who say Trump did not commit a crime.

The poll was conducted August 26 to 29 with 1,003 adults over landlines and cell phones. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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