President Trump's hammering on the FBI — and green-lighting yesterday of the Russia memo's release over Bureau objections — is having a profound effect:
A SurveyMonkey poll for Axios finds that not even 40% of Republicans approve of America's main federal law enforcement agency — a stunning turn for the law-and-order party.
Why it matters: Trump, who earlier turned a huge swath of Republicans toward more favorable opinions of Russia, has now turned his party against his own FBI.
- The numbers: FBI approval in the SurveyMonkey Poll, taken over the past two days, is 64% among Democrats and just 38% among Republicans. Unfavorable opinion of the FBI: 47% in the GOP; 14% among Ds.
- As you see below, overall opinion of the FBI fell over the past year in the two polls we compared, likely driven entirely by falling approval from Rs.
Be smart: The stark new Republican skepticism of the FBI means that Trump has succeeded in preemptively undermining the findings of special counsel Bob Mueller.
- Many Republicans will now see Mueller's report or recommendations as a political document, and the conservative media will portray it that way.
- It's the great muddying we have been telling you about since December.
- This is a massive swing from the initial bipartisan accolades for Mueller.
- When the special counsel was named last May, Newt Gingrich tweeted: "Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. Media should now calm down."