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Poll: Most Americans think Sessions should resign over Russia

The survey also showed Americans' opinions on how President Donald Trump is performing in the White House.

By Doug G. Ware
Poll: Most Americans think Sessions should resign over Russia
Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions removed himself from any and all federal investigations looking into allegations that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Wednesday, a new Quinnipac poll showed that a slight majority of Americans believe he should resign. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 8 (UPI) -- The majority of Americans believe U.S. Attorney General Jeff B. Sessions lied about his meetings with a Russian ambassador last year and should resign his post, a poll released Wednesday indicates.

According to the Quinnipac University poll, 51 percent of more than 1,300 respondents nationwide said the attorney general, the top federal law enforcement officer in the United States, should quit after revelations he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak before the election last year.

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Of those who said Sessions should resign, 83 percent were Democrats and 11 percent were Republicans. Fifty-eight percent were women.

Earlier this month, Sessions said he never had inappropriate conversations with the diplomat about then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for which he was an adviser. Any discussions they had, he said, were strictly limited to his capacity as Alabama senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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Last week, Sessions removed himself from participating in any current or future federal investigations into allegations that Moscow meddled in the Nov. 8 vote.

Critics like Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi say Sessions lied under oath about the meetings during his January confirmation hearing, when he said he hadn't had contact with any Kremlin representatives. Supporters say Sessions should have clarified the matter in his testimony, but reject the assertion that he lied about it.

"The idea that I was a part of a, quote, 'continuing exchange of information' during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries of the Russian government is totally false," Sessions said last week.

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In the survey, 54 percent said they believe Sessions lied under oath.

Trump has dismissed the idea that a special independent prosecutor should investigate Sessions, and said he doesn't even think the attorney general needed to recuse himself from Russian investigations.

Democrats and some Republicans have called for a special investigation and Sessions' resignation. A CNN/ORC poll indicated Monday that 65 percent of Americans -- a figure nearly identical to the same question in the Quinnipac survey -- said a special prosecutor should be assigned.

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Respondents were also questioned about other aspects involving Sessions and Trump's administration.

Healthcare

Fifty-one percent opposed repealing the Affordable Care Act, but the majority said there are "parts" of the law that should be eliminated. Regarding a repeal, nearly 90 percent said Republicans should wait until they have a replacement healthcare program ready before they scrap the ACA.

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Thirty-four percent also said they are "not confident at all" that the GOP's replacement will be as good or better than the ACA. Twenty-three percent said they are "somewhat confident."

Immigration

The majority, 63 percent, favored a policy that allows undocumented immigrants already in the United States to stay and have access to citizenship. Twenty-three percent said migrants living illegally in the United States should be forced to leave, and 49 percent said Trump is acting too aggressively on the matter.

Russia

Forty-one percent of respondents said they are "very concerned" about Trump's relationship with Russia. The second most popular answer, "not at all concerned," was given by 22 percent. Forty-two percent said purported Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is a "very important" issue, while 23 percent said it is "not important at all."

Climate change

Most respondents, 62 percent, said Trump's administration should not remove rules and regulations intended to mitigate global warming. Forty-six percent answered that they are "very concerned" about climate change.

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Infrastructure

The most lopsided response was given regarding Trump's $1 trillion plan to upgrade U.S. roadways and other infrastructure. Ninety percent said they support the plan, compared to 8 percent who oppose it.

Trump tax returns

Sixty-seven percent responded that Trump should release his still-unpublicized tax returns.

National security

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they now feel "less safe" with Trump in the White House, compared to 28 percent who answered "more safe."

The survey has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points, the pollsters said. The poll was conducted March 2-6.

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