Among his charges: The FBI’s leadership was corrupt
and “tried to do a number on your President
.” He repeatedly publicly harassed his then-attorney general, Jeff Sessions, as “VERY weak
” and personally responsible
for the Mueller appointment.
Those criticisms of the FBI and attorney general coincided with massive dips in how Republicans viewed the FBI in 2017 and 2018, but — with the Mueller probe wrapped up and Trump’s ire somewhat abated — the percentage of Republicans who viewed the FBI favorably jumped to 66%. That’s closer to the 77% of Democrats who view the bureau favorably, which has been consistent throughout the Trump administration.
When Trump took office in January 2017, 47% of Republicans viewed the Justice Department favorably, the survey found.
Since the release last spring of the Mueller report
— which Trump claimed as vindication
despite the report pointedly stating that it did not exonerate him — and following turnover in the top ranks of the Justice Department and FBI, the President’s criticism has eased.
Sixty-one percent of Republicans now have favorable views of the department, the Pew survey showed.
Democrats, in contrast, view the agency far less favorably: down to 49% from 74%, a drop of 25 points.
The Pew survey was conducted between September 5 and 16, prior to more recent developments such as a fiery political debate involving allegations by a whistleblower and Democrats officially commencing their impeachment probe.
Pew solicited viewpoints on 16 government agencies and found a deeply partisan split on Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Seven in 10 Republicans support its work, while only 19% of Democrats do.
The Justice Department and ICE did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CNN on Tuesday.
The highest-ranked agency among those included on the survey was the Postal Service, with 90% favorability.
The survey included just over 2,000 US adults and had an overall sampling error of 2.6 percentage points.