Donald Trump's approval rating plummets after James Comey sacking

US leader is less popular than any other recent president at same stage of their term 

Benjamin Kentish
Tuesday 16 May 2017 12:52 BST
Fewer than one in three Americans agreed with Donald Trump's decision to sack James Comey
Fewer than one in three Americans agreed with Donald Trump's decision to sack James Comey (AP)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Donald Trump's approval rating has slumped to its lowest point in almost two months in the wake of his firing of FBI director James Comey. It has dropped to 38 per cent – only slightly above the 35 per cent it hit on 28 March.

The billionaire businessman is more unpopular at this stage in his term than any other recent president.

At the same point, Barack Obama had a 64 per cent approval rating, George Bush was at 56 per cent and Bill Clinton’s stood at 45 per cent.

The Gallup daily tracking poll shows how a US president’s popularity is changing from day to day.

When he took office on 20 January, 45 per cent of Americans approved of Mr Trump and the same proportion disapproved. Now, only 38 per cent are happy with his performance while 57 per cent are not.

The recent fall comes after Mr Trump’s controversial sacking of James Comey, the director of the FBI.

The President has since been accused by Democrats and others of firing him because he was heading the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s alleged efforts to influence the presidential election.

The White House’s official reasoning for the dismissal is Mr Comey’s handling of the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server.

However, the US leader has stated that he fired him after growing tired of hearing about the FBI investigation into his campaign's possible ties to Russia.

A recent poll conducted for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found just 20 per of Americans approved of the sacking, while 38 per cent disapproved. The remaining 32 per cent said they did not know.

Almost one in three (30 per cent) voters said Mr Trump’s firing of Mr Comey had made them less favourable towards the US President.

When asked why they believed the Republican had made the move, almost half of Americans (46 per cent) said they believed it was designed to hinder the FBI’s Russia investigation, while 38 per cent believed Mr Trump’s claim that his motivation was concern about Mr Comey’s performance.

The billionaire businessman’s team initially claimed he had merely been acting on the advice of the US deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein. However, Mr Trump later contradicted that claim and suggested the advice he received was not a significant factor in his decision.

“Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey," he told NBC News. "The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everyone knows that.”

“When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."

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