Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, as special counselor, is now investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. In a CBS poll, 81 percent of the respondents believe President Donald Trump should not try to stop the investigation. File Photo by Alex Wong/Pool/UPI | License Photo
June 20 (UPI) -- More than four-fifths of Americans believe President Donald Trump should not try to stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any potential probe into Trump's possible obstruction of justice, according to a CBS poll.
Fifteen percent of respondents said the president should attempt to stop the independent investigation, compared with 81 percent who disagree in a poll conducted by SSRS of Media of 1,117 adults nationwide from Thursday through Sunday.
Even members of the president's Republican Party overwhelmingly said he should not interfere with the probe -- 75 percent saying no and 20 percent saying yes. Among Democrats, it was 88 percent against and 10 percent favoring interference. For independents, it was 16 percent yes and 79 percent no.
In the poll, 62 percent of Americans believe Russia tried to interfere in the election -- 44 percent to favor Trump and 18 percent not to favor him. Thirty-one percent of the respondents said there was no Russian interference.
In March, 50 percent of respondents thought Russia meddled in the election.
When asked about the purpose of the investigations, 32 percent believe it is a political distraction that should be put aside, 27 percent said it's serious but not as serious as other issues and 39 percent called it a critical issue of national security.
Most Americans -- 56 percent -- believe Mueller's investigation will be impartial, compared with 30 percent saying it will be partial.
Trump's handling of the investigation has lowered some Americans' opinion of him -- 35 percent, compared with 60 percent saying no change and 4 percent saying they now have a better opinion of him.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named Mueller special counsel on May 1 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
The president has disputed Comey's account of their private meetings during U.S. Senate testimony on June 8, including Comey's claim that Trump asked him to end a Justice Department inquiry of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Most Americans, 57 percent, believe Comey more than Trump, 31 percent.
Overall, Trump's approval rating has declined and is the lowest in two months. In the latest survey it's 36 percent compared with 41 percent on April 26. On Feb. 21, the approval rating was 39 percent.
The latest poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.