- The American public is growing increasingly convinced that Trump simply isn't telling the whole truth
- Trump's poll problems extend well beyond Russia
Washington (CNN)"James Comey vs. Donald Trump."
That's the obvious storyline ahead of the former FBI director's testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee today -- especially after Comey's takedown of Trump in his prepared testimony released Wednesday.
And, to be sure, Trump has played up that "me vs. him" angle in the wake of his decision to fire Comey last month; he called the former FBI director a "showboat" and a "grandstander," not to mention suggesting that everyone in the FBI wanted Coney gone. (Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe has said on several occasions under oath that he and the rank-and-file of the FBI respected and supported Comey.)
But Trump's real foe isn't Comey. It's an American public that is growing increasingly convinced that Trump simply isn't telling the whole truth about his motivations regarding the Russia investigation -- or much else.
In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, just over one in five people (22%) said they trust what Trump says "a great deal" or a "good amount." Seventy two percent trust Trump on Russia less than that or not at all. Almost half (49%) of all independents say they don't trust Trump at all when it comes to Russia. Significant majorities of the public also believe Trump is "interfering" with the Russia investigation (56%) and that he fired Comey to protect himself rather than for the good of the country (61%).
Trump's poll problems extend well beyond Russia. His job approval rating in a new Quinnipiac University national poll was 34% with 57% disapproving. More than twice as many people (51%) strongly disapprove of Trump as strongly approve of him (25%). Nearly six in ten (59%) say Trump is not honest -- including a majority (56%) of independents. Almost seven in 10 (68%) say Trump is not "level-headed."