A new poll released Friday reveals that nearly half of the U.S. denounces Trump’s decision to relieve FBI Director James Comey of his duties, and indicates an even deeper divide along party lines.
Gallup surveyed 1,013 U.S. adults’ reaction to Comey’s firing in a Gallup Daily tracking poll between May 10-11, commencing one day after the White House announced Comey was axed. The survey reportedly has a margin of error of 4 percent.
The results of the Gallup poll are as follows:
- 39 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s decision.
- 46 percent of Americans disapprove.
- 15 percent of respondents said they have no opinion about his firing.
It also appears that an even deeper divide remains between partisan views, with 79 percent of Republicans approving of Trump’s decision to fire Comey and 78 percent of Democrats disapproving.
Additionally, the poll found that Trump’s controversial decision was less popular than former President Bill Clinton‘s firing of his FBI director, William Sessions, in 1993, reports The Hill.
When a survey was conducted in 1993, 44 percent said they approved of Clinton’s decision while only 24 percent disapproved. The remaining 32 percent said they did not have an opinion.
The difference in public reaction to the Comey and Sessions firings does not merely reflect the popularity of the sitting president making the decision. Trump has averaged 41% job approval in the three days since firing Comey, and that matches Clinton’s 41% approval rating at the time he fired Sessions in July 1993.
“Clinton likely sparked less partisan reaction with his firing of Sessions because it was a fairly uncontroversial move made after the Justice Department issued a report raising serious ethical questions regarding Sessions’ taxes and possible misuse of government property.”
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