Saturday, April 15, 2017

Poll: Trump Surveillance Went Too Far

More than a month has passed since President Donald Trump first claimed he and his associates were wiretapped by the U.S. government at Trump Tower last year. And despite no evidence to corroborate the allegation, many voters say the Obama administration went too far in monitoring intelligence information that may have included members of Trump’s transition team, according to The Morning Consult.

Half of registered voters in a Morning Consult/POLITICO survey, conducted April 6 through April 9, said the previous administration was excessive in its intelligence monitoring of Trump’s team, while 33 percent disagreed.

Susan Rice
Republicans, at 78 percent, were the most likely to say the Obama administration went too far, while a plurality (42 percent) of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agreed.

Since making his initial wiretapping claim, which FBI Director James Comey said on March 20 is not supported by any evidence, Trump has revised his accusation. In a Fox Business interview that aired April 12, the president said his original March 4 tweet on the subject was referring to surveillance practices in the Obama administration — particularly actions by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, whom he accused of committing a crime in an April 5 interview with The New York Times.

“When you look at Susan Rice and what’s going on, and so many people are coming up to me and apologizing now,” Trump said in the Fox interview. “They’re saying, ‘You know, you were right when you said that.’ Perhaps I didn’t know how right I was, because nobody knew the extent of it.”

The allegation against Rice — that she “unmasked” certain members of Trump’s transition team caught up in surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community — has garnered a considerable amount of attention from voters. Sixty-one percent of poll respondents, including 67 percent of Republicans, said they’d heard “a lot” or “some” about allegations of wrongdoing by Rice.

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