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Americans divided over Trump’s firing of FBI chief: Poll

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump exits Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, May 13, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Americans view President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey as a partisan issue more than anything else, a new poll has found.

According to the Gallup survey released on Saturday, overall, nearly 46 percent of voters disapproved of the decision while a close 39 percent supported it. Around 15 percent said they had no opinion.

There was a stark partisan division, however, with 79 percent of Republicans backing the dismissal, against a 13 percent who thought otherwise.

Similarly, 78 percent of Democrats opposed the move while 14 percent said Trump took the right decision.

The gap was significantly smaller among Independents as 45 percent approved of the move and 32 percent disapproved.

Comey was overseeing two important investigations that shaped Republican Trump’s last year victory against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Before the election, Comey led a controversial probe into Clinton’s use of a personal server to exchange government emails while she was secretary of state.

After the election, he began investigating Trump’s alleged ties to Russia as well as a series of cyber attacks against Clinton’s campaign, which Democrats claimed were conducted by Russian hackers.

The poll’s findings were somewhat different from a similar poll days after then-President Bill Clinton ousted his FBI director, William Sessions, in 1993.

Former FBI Director James Comey 

Back then, 44 percent of American voters were in favor of the move while 24 percent disapproved.

The poll also did not record any changes in Trump’s overall job approval, which remained at a low 41 percent in the three days following Comey's dismissal on Tuesday.

The decision has plunged the White House into chaos, with administration officials giving largely contradictory explanations about the decision.

While Vice President Mike Pence and others tried to curb speculations that the decision was related to the Russia probe, Trump said Thursday that the “Russia thing” was on his mind.

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Trump suggested Friday that he might cancel all future White House press conferences in order to prevent inaccurate statements.

“Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future press briefings and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy,” he wrote in a tweet, saying later on that he might take on the job himself and hold pressers every two weeks.

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