A new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds that 52 percent of voters believe Russia has compromising information on President Donald Trump. The finding comes as his administration insists at every turn that Attorney General William Barr’s letter about the Mueller report exonerates Trump, even though it says the exact opposite.
According to the poll, 30 percent believe it’s very likely that Russia has compromising information, with another 22 percent adding that it’s somewhat likely and 14 percent saying they don’t know. Even among those who identified as Republicans, some 22 percent believed it’s likely. Only 35 percent of all voters believed to some degree that it’s not likely.
The poll also found that a 47 percent plurality of voters believe Trump “tried to impede or obstruct the investigation into whether his campaign had ties to Russia.” A 49 percent plurality also said they’re most likely to accept Robert Mueller’s Version of the investigation, with only 27 percent saying they’d trust Trump’s. Most voters believe the full Mueller report should be made public (82 percent).
Trump has been insistent there was “no collusion” with Russia in the 2016 election, but he has nevertheless had a very cozy — and secretive — relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Three House committees have sought details of Trump’s many meetings and communications with Putin, but the White House has kept these conversations private. In January, Trump claimed he “couldn’t care less” if one of his private conversations with Putin became public, but not only did he not reveal any details, he also refused to answer a question as to whether he’d ever worked on behalf of Russia.
The question of working on Russia’s behalf is different from the question of colluding with Russia to influence the election. Even according to the limited details available in the Barr letter, the Mueller investigation concluded that Russia very much interfered with. the election. Trump has repeatedly rejected such conclusions from U.S. intelligence, instead deferring to Putin’s claims that Russia played no such role. “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump insisted last summer.
The infamous Steele dossier suggested that Russia did, in fact, have “kompromat” on Trump, including the ever-elusive “pee tape.” But Trump’s unwillingness to ever speak ill of Putin or contradict his claims has only fueled additional speculation that Trump is somehow compromised.
According to the poll, initial insights into the Mueller report have done little to improve Trump’s favorability rating, which remains under water at 44 percent.