02:12 - Source: CNN
Paul Ryan: James Comey isn't a 'nut job'

Story highlights

54% say Trump is more generally abusing the powers of his office

Trump's approval rating continues to sag

Washington CNN —  

A majority of Americans believe that President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey to deter that agency from investigating Trump’s ties to Russia, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Fifty-five percent of those polled by Quinnipiac University say Comey was removed “to disrupt the FBI investigation into potential coordination,” a reasoning that Trump has denied. Trump says Comey was fired because he no longer had confidence in him to lead the agency, a claim that only 36% of Americans say they believe.

More than half of those polled, 54%, also say Trump is more generally abusing the powers of his office and Trump’s approval rating continues to sag. Thirty-seven percent of Americans told Quinnipiac that they approve of Trump’s job performance; 55% say they do not – largely in line with daily tracking polls.

Americans also generally do not seem to believe the narrative Trump has told about the Comey firing: 54% say they do not believe that Comey told Trump three times that he was not under investigation, which Trump claimed in his letter firing Comey.

And 55% say they believe Comey when he claims that Trump asked him to drop the investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, which Comey said in memos happened during private conversations with the President.

The survey was conducted from May 17 to May 23, meaning that all interviews happened after the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. The poll surveyed 1,404 voters and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.