Voters say by a nearly two-to-one margin that James Comey's statements hurt President Donald Trump rather than helped him. | Getty
Voters have greater faith in former FBI Director James Comey to tell the truth than in President Donald Trump, who has disputed the veracity of Comey's sworn testimony before a Senate committee last week.
A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted in the days following Comey's appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 45 percent of voters said they trust Comey more to tell the truth, compared to 32 percent for Trump. Twenty-three percent have no opinion.
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And despite Trump's insistence that Comey's testimony represented personal vindication, voters say by a nearly two-to-one margin that Comey's statements hurt Trump rather than helped him.
But the survey found little change in voters' views of Trump and whether his firing of Comey last month was appropriate or not.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows 45 percent of registered voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president — virtually unchanged from 44 percent last week. Exactly half of voters disapprove of Trump's job performance.
Trump's base is sticking with him: 81 percent of GOP voters approve of his job performance. But his approval rating is far lower among Democrats (16 percent) and independents (39 percent).
That is consistent with other polls that show opinions of Trump are little changed over the past week since Comey's testimony.
A slight majority of voters, 51 percent, say they watched part or all of Comey's testimony last Thursday. Asked about Comey's honesty, a combined 53 percent say the former FBI director is either very or somewhat honest.
More voters say Comey's testimony hurt Trump (43 percent) than say it helped the president (23 percent). But 35 percent of voters say they don't know or have no opinion about whether it hurt or helped Trump.
Among Democrats, 58 percent say Comey's testimony hurt Trump, while only 16 percent think it helped him. Republicans say narrowly that Comey's testimony helped Trump (36 percent) rather than hurt him (28 percent). But among independents, far more thought it hurt Trump (41 percent) than helped (17 percent).
But voters are still mixed, following the hearing, on whether Trump acted appropriately in firing Comey last month. Thirty-seven percent say it was appropriate for Trump to fire Comey, while 44 percent say it was inappropriate.
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"James Comey's Senate testimony was a massive political event," said Morning Consult Co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. "However, initial polling indicates that it didn't swing public opinion one way or another. Views on why Comey was fired and whether it was appropriate have remained largely stable in the days following his testimony."
Voters are actually more disturbed by Comey's actions after he was terminated. Fifty-four percent say it was inappropriate for Comey to ask a friend to share with a reporter the content of unclassified memoranda he'd composed following meetings with Trump; just 26 percent say that was appropriate.
Still, the poll shows voters are unwilling to let Trump off the hook for his missteps because of his inexperience in elected office. Only 27 percent agree with this statement: "President Trump is a political newcomer and unfamiliar with Washington. This should be taken into consideration when considering his behavior."
Twice as many voters, 54 percent, agree more with this statement: "The job of president demands immediate ability to perform all functions. President Trump should not be excused for behavior because he is a political newcomer."
The poll was conducted June 8-12, surveying 1,990 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.
More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: http://politi.co/2sYQsZP | Crosstabs: http://politi.co/2rXzVqx
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Poll: Voters trust Comey over Trump - POLITICO
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