A majority of Americans now believe that the special counsel’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election was “politically motivated,” a sharp increase from when the poll was last conducted in January — before the investigation was completed.
The news comes from a recent CBS News poll, conducted between March 25 and March 26, which found 54% of respondents believe the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was “politically motivated,” compared to 37% who believe it was “justified.”
The poll was previously conducted in January and, at that time, found 50% of respondents believed the investigation was “justified” and 45% said it was “politically motivated.”
While this appears to be the biggest nugget of information from the poll, it was not the hook CBS used to report on its own poll. In fact, it was the last point mentioned in the media outlet’s report on the poll, and while every other point in the article received its own tweet, the information about whether the probe was justified or politically motivated did not.
“Mueller report: Majorities across party lines want full report released, CBS News poll says,” was the headline the outlet used. Four people have a byline on the story, which includes a paragraph or two about five different findings in the poll. The fact that the outlet ran with how many people want the report released shows how they wanted to bury the findings of political motivation. There was never a question about whether the Mueller report would be released. The White House never objected to it and neither did Attorney General William Barr, who said this week the report would be released “sometime in April, probably.” True, he said that when the poll was being conducted, but at no time did anyone except left-wing media outlets suggest the report would not be released.
The poll also found that 34% of respondents feel the Mueller report — which found no collusion and not enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction — “has cleared Trump,” compared to 23% who think it “hasn’t cleared Trump.” Another 36% think it’s “too soon to say” whether the report cleared the president.
Drilling down into the parties, the CBS poll found 66% of Democrats want members of their party in congress to continue investigating the matter. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been more than happy to oblige.
Further, the poll found that 50% of Democrats were “disappointed” in Mueller’s findings, while 69% of Republicans were “pleased.” More Americans (44%) thought the investigation was conducted “fairly,” than “unfairly” (10%). Forty percent said it was too soon to say.
CBS sent out four separate tweets about the poll on Wednesday. The outlet’s poll Twitter account did not include the chart about people thinking the investigation was “politically motivated.” It included all the other points brought up in the article. CBS’s main Twitter account also made no mention of what poll respondents thought of the motivation behind the Mueller investigation.