The Slatest

Only 29 Percent of Americans Believe Mueller Cleared Trump of Wrongdoing

Trump with his hand to his ear
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday in Washington.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The White House may be celebrating, but it doesn’t look like most Americans believe special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings vindicate President Donald Trump. In fact, only 29 percent of Americans say they believe the president has been cleared of wrongdoing, while 40 percent say they don’t think he was cleared, and 31 percent just aren’t sure, according to a Wall Street Journal–NBC News poll. Along the same lines, a Washington Post–Schar School poll found that only 32 percent believe Trump was exonerated on obstruction.

The NBC-WSJ poll seems to demonstrate that more than anything, the conclusion of Mueller’s report hasn’t really moved public opinion one way or the other. Case in point, the president’s job approval ratings dropped 3 points since February to 43 percent, which is within the margin of error.

Although some say the poll results show that the public is still waiting to see what the investigation will mean for Trump, others point to other numbers to suggest that Americans may simply not have been very interested in the whole investigation despite the blanket coverage. Only 39 percent of Americans say they had heard “a lot” of news coverage about the end of the investigation, even though 78 percent say they heard that Mueller had submitted his final report. “However substantial this event was in the Washington, D.C., community and maybe our political culture, it was not an event that captured the American public,” an analyst said.

Even if they haven’t heard a lot about the end of Mueller’s investigation, most Americans want to hear more. A whopping 83 percent say Mueller’s report should be made public and 57 percent say Attorney General William Barr has failed to release enough details about the report, according to the Washington Post–Schar School poll. Unsurprisingly though, there is much more satisfaction among Republicans. Almost 80 percent of Republicans say they feel “satisfied” with the conclusions of the investigation, while 53 percent of Democrats say they are disappointed with what the report appears to have found. So far at least, Democrats remain firm in their conviction that Trump was guilty of serious wrongdoing, compared to 15 percent of Republicans.