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Poll Finds Overwhelming Majority Of Americans Want Full Mueller Report To Be Released

Mar 29, 2019
Originally published on March 30, 2019 4:33 pm
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Congress and the country will see the Mueller report in the next few weeks. Attorney General William Barr told Congress this afternoon that he will release the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller. Barr said today that the report is nearly 400 pages long. Sensitive information will be redacted when it's released.

Since Barr wrote a summary of the report's principal findings, releasing the full report has not been controversial. It's something that President Trump and lawmakers of both parties agree on. As NPR's Scott Detrow reports, it's something that we found most voters are behind as well.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: A lot of the findings from the new NPR-PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll would confirm what you probably know from your own day-to-day interactions. People who voted for and still support President Trump were pleased with Barr's letter, and people who dislike the president want to see Congress keep investigating. Staphanie Dauer is a Minnesota Republican who says she doesn't necessarily like Trump but voted for him and thinks he's doing an excellent job in the White House.

STAPHANIE DAUER: I just think the whole thing was incredibly stupid to start with. And I truly feel that there's nothing that they have him on, and I think they need to stop.

DETROW: Like many other GOP voters, she wants Congress to move on. An overwhelming amount of Republicans told pollsters Mueller's investigation, or at least Barr's summary of it, clears the president. Greg Harris of Wisconsin says he was suspicious of the investigation all along.

GREG HARRIS: And I thought to myself, for a guy that's been in business that long and they're only able to find basically nothing, he's pretty darn clean.

DETROW: Of course Mueller and other federal prosecutors brought charges against several members of Trump's inner circle, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort and lawyer Michael Cohen. But Trump's supporters are following the president's lead and viewing the lack of further indictments or collusion ties as a major victory. Here's the president last night in Michigan.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: That collusion delusion is over.

(CHEERING)

DETROW: But overall, just 36 percent of all respondents think Barr's summary clears Trump while 56 percent have more questions. Most Democrats thought Robert Mueller's investigation was fair, but just 35 percent were satisfied with its results. Megan Gaffney voted against Trump in Michigan in 2016 and plans to do so again in 2020. She had been checking in on news about the probe about once a week and was frustrated when Barr's letter came out.

MEGAN GAFFNEY: This is like, oh, of course, of course this is happening, and of course he's going to get away with it.

DETROW: Gaffney wants Congress to keep investigating.

GAFFNEY: It just doesn't make sense to me. I think that they need to do more digging.

DETROW: And on this question, respondents were pretty evenly split. About half say Barr's findings on obstruction should stand while half want Congress to keep looking. For now, Democratic leaders in Congress are focusing on shorter-term goals. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been demanding the Department of Justice release the full report.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NANCY PELOSI: No thank you, Mr. Attorney General. We do not need your interpretation. Show us the report, and we can draw our own conclusions. We don't need you interpreting for us.

DETROW: NPR's polling shows Pelosi on firm political ground there. An overwhelming three quarters of respondents want the full report made public, which it soon will be with redactions. And more than 60 percent say Barr and Mueller should appear before Congress. That's something even hardened Trump supporters like Greg Harris in Wisconsin agree with.

HARRIS: I think Barr should. I think it's OK for Barr to answer questions. I think he should be accountable and stand by what he wrote.

DETROW: Barr said today he's happy to do that, but that or even the publishing of the full Mueller report may not change many opinions. The poll shows Trump's approval rating right around where it's been his entire time in office. Scott Detrow, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.