The Cohen and Manafort convictions didn’t hurt Trump’s approval ratings, but support for Mueller increased

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump met with Republican members of the Senate to discuss immigration.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump met with Republican members of the Senate to discuss immigration.
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • Two of Trump’s past associates, his lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, had highly publicized legal battles that both had damaging consequences on August 21.
  • New polling from NBC News/The Wall Street Journal and Fox News shows Trump’s job-approval ratings were largely unchanged, despite those legal developments.
  • The Fox News poll found voter approval of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation jumped by 11 points.

Much of the analysis surrounding the fallout from court cases involving President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former attorney Michael Cohen called August 21, 2018 the worst day of Trump’s presidency.

But new polling from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal suggests Trump voters seemed to take those legal developments in stride.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken August 18-22 showed Trump’s approval rating among Republican voters who were surveyed stood at 46%, with 51% disapproving of the president’s job performance.

Those numbers remained stable in a follow-up survey taken August 22-25, which found Trump’s approval rating at 44% among Republican voters, with 52% saying they disapprove.

A Fox News poll of 1,009 registered voters taken August 19-21 found 45% of those surveyed approve of Trump’s job performance, with 53% saying they disapprove.

The Fox News poll also signals a potentially troubling development around voter perceptions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The poll showed an uptick in Mueller’s approval rating among registered voters: 59% in the August 19-21 survey, compared to 48% just one month earlier.

Trump ramped up his criticism of Mueller and the Russia investigation last week in response to legal developments around Cohen and Manafort. He also launched new broadsides against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who promptly fired back at the president.