Donald Trump may be trying to convince the country that he wasn’t in the loop regarding his campaign’s many secret contacts with Russia, but nearly 60 percent of the country thinks he was well aware of what was going on.
In a new poll released by CNN on Monday, 59 percent of Americans say “Trump himself knew” that his associates were communicating with Kremlin-connected operatives during the presidential campaign.
More from CNN:
Almost six in 10, 59%, say they think Trump himself knew last year that anyone associated with his campaign had contact with suspected Russian operatives, while only 35% think the then-GOP nominee did not know about those contacts. Fewer (39%) see last week’s legal actions as signs of a widespread effort within the campaign to coordinate with Russia; 44% say they represent an effort to coordinate that was limited to just a few people.
To make matters worse for Trump, an even larger number of Americans – nearly two thirds – believe that the ongoing investigation into the president’s ties to Russia is a “serious matter” that needs to be thoroughly investigated.
More from the report:
About two-thirds (64%) now say the investigation into Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election in 2016 is a serious matter that should be fully investigated, while just 32% see it as an effort to discredit Trump’s presidency. That figure is down from 38% saying so in August.
Just 34% approve of the way Trump is handling that investigation, 54% disapprove, though that represents an improvement since August, when 59% disapproved.
The poll numbers reflect a massive disconnect between Trump’s own rhetoric and the way the vast majority of the American people view this still-developing scandal.
Trump repeatedly calls the Russia story “fake news” or a “hoax,” and right-wing media outlets help him perpetuate this lie, but Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into the matter continues to ramp up with some of the president’s close associates facing charges, with more likely to come.
The president can and will likely continue to shield himself from reality and speak only to the 36 percent of Americans who believe his dumpster fire presidency has been a success, but the vast majority of the country is rightly concerned that his campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the election.
As the special counsel investigation continues to pull in more of Trump’s inner circle, these numbers will only get worse for the sinking president.