A Majority of Republicans Think They Can’t Trust the FBI

Via HuffPost, here are the latest results from a YouGov poll about trust in the FBI. Note that these are net results: that is, trust minus distrust, fair minus unfair, etc. Feast your eyes:

It would be interesting if we had data on general trust in the FBI going back a while, wouldn’t it? Are Democrats suddenly big fans? Or have Republicans suddenly developed a massive distrust of the FBI? Luckily Pew Research has a few years of data on this, so let’s take a look:

These are, once again, net results (percent approval minus percent disapproval). For years there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats. Then Democratic views bumped up a bit in the September 2016 poll—even though that was after James Comey had called Hillary Clinton “extremely reckless,” causing her lead over Trump to shrink by a couple of points. Republicans, however, had just finished up their “Lock Her Up!” national convention and weren’t satisfied with a mere verbal thrashing. Their views of the FBI spiked downward.

After that, Democrats stayed steady. But by February of this year the net Republican view of the FBI was a mere +19 percent:  55 percent approval vs. 36 percent disapproval. This has no historical precedent among the traditional party of law-and-order. But now it’s May, and things have gotten even worse: according to the YouGov poll, net trust of the FBI among Republicans is -10 percent. Donald Trump and Fox News and congressional Republicans have convinced more than half of Republicans that the FBI is a cesspool of corruption and bias against conservatives.

That’s remarkable enough. But keep in mind that the FBI was almost single-handedly responsible for keeping Hillary Clinton out the White House. Even so, Republicans think the FBI is biased against them. This is what Trump has done to the Republican Party.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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