Poll: More Americans favor Mueller's handling of Russia probe than Trump's

Poll: More Americans favor Mueller's handling of Russia probe than Trump's
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More Americans approve of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's handling of the Russia investigation than President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE's, according to a new poll.

Fifty percent of respondents told CNN they approved of how Mueller has handled his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, while only 30 percent approve of the president’s conduct. 

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The approval of Mueller's approach to the probe is at its highest level in CNN polling, the network noted.

The new numbers changed only a few points from a month ago, before the conviction of former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT Ex-Trump campaign official testifies Stone gave updates on WikiLeaks email dumps Paul Manafort's former son-in-law sentenced to 9 years in prison for scamming Dustin Hoffman, others MORE and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's plea deal. Manafort was found guilty of eight bank and tax fraud charges. Cohen, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to eight charges, including one count of campaign finance violations in which he implicated Trump. 

Mueller's approval rating increased 3 points in the new survey, while Trump slid 4 points.

Other polling showed perceptions of Trump held steady after Manafort's conviction and Cohen's plea deal.

The CNN poll released Wednesday showed 6 in 10 respondents consider the Russia probe, which Trump has repeatedly labeled a "witch hunt," a serious matter. Just more than seven in ten Americans — 72 percent — also said Trump should testify under oath if asked by Mueller.

Pollsters also found Americans are split of the issue of impeachment. Almost half, 48 percent, said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, compared to 48 percent who disagree. The increase in those who say he should be impeached was driven primarily by independents, pollsters noted.

The CNN phone poll of 1,003 adults was conducted from Sept. 6-9. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.