- According to a new Monmouth University poll, 71% of respondents believe President Donald Trump should agree to an interview with the special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow during the 2016 race.
- A majority of both Democrats and Republicans said they back the interview.
- The survey comes as Mueller zeroes in on Trump for possible obstruction of justice.
A majority of Americans who participated in a recent Monmouth University poll said President Donald Trump should sit down for an interview under oath with Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election.
In addition to examining Russia’s election interference, Mueller is also looking into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow, and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired FBI director James Comey last May.
Of the 806 respondents interviewed, 71% said that Trump should agree to the interview. Views differed slightly along party lines, but Democrats and Republicans still largely agreed.
About 85% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans surveyed said they support Mueller interviewing Trump. The poll sampled a relatively equal amount of Republicans (29%), Democrats (32%), and independents (39%).
The survey also found that 41% of respondents believe Trump’s reported attempt to fire Mueller in June 2017 constituted obstruction of justice, while 44% said they believed otherwise.
Mueller’s investigation has focused in recent weeks on Trump’s involvement in crafting a misleading statement about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at the height of the campaign; what Trump knew when he fired former national security adviser Michael Flynn last February; and what his motives were when he fired Comey three months later.
Comey testified last year that Trump asked him to let go of the bureau’s investigation into Flynn one day after Flynn was fired. Comey gave no indication that he would do so, and Trump fired him in May.
The White House initially said Comey was fired because of the way he handled the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, but Trump later said on national television that “this Russia thing” was a factor in his decision. He also told Russian officials one day after Comey’s firing that the FBI director’s removal had taken “great pressure” off of him.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December to one count of making false statements to investigators, and Trump said in a tweet the next day that he had to fire Flynn “because he lied to the FBI.” Experts said at the time that if Trump knew the former national security adviser had misled investigators when he asked Comey to drop the Flynn probe in February, it would significantly bolster the obstruction case against the president.
Trump has wavered on whether he will agree to an interview with Mueller. He at one point said he was “100%” open to it, but later walked that back, saying that because there was “no collusion,” it would be “unlikely that you’d even have an interview.”
The president’s attorneys are currently in talks with Mueller’s team about the scope and limitations of a possible Trump interview, Business Insider previously confirmed.
Last month, The Washington Post reported Mueller asked Trump’s lawyers about a possible interview with the president, and hinted that he wanted to conduct it soon.
“This is moving faster than anyone really realizes,” a person close to Trump told The Post.