In a post earlier today, Josh points out that conventional media is not equipped to deal with willful lying in the public sphere. The effects of the resultant lopsided coverage is clear in recent polling of Republicans’ views of the FBI. It is remarkable the extent to which GOP voters’ trust in the agency has done a 180 during Trump’s presidency.
From Axios yesterday:
Trump, who earlier turned a huge swath of Republicans toward more favorable opinions of Russia, has now turned his party against his own FBI. https://t.co/7S2ytskPoq
— Axios (@axios) February 3, 2018
Meanwhile, a Reuters poll released today, and conducted over the weekend, found that 73 percent of Republicans agreed that “members of the FBI and Department of Justice are working to delegitimize Trump through politically motivated investigations.”
It’s not just the Nunes memo — Trump has been driving this shift all year. A Gallup poll from December 2017 finds that Republican support for the FBI fell from 62 percent in 2014 to 49 percent. In fact, Gallup found that the FBI was the only federal agency to see its poll numbers drop among Republicans. From the CDC to FEMA to the postal service, Republicans like government agencies better under Trump. All agencies, that is, except for the FBI. You can’t directly compare polls from different polling firms, but the Reuters and Axios polls at least suggest things have only gotten worse in the month and a half since Gallup spoke with voters.
As Allegra Kirkland wrote yesterday, Nunes’ dud of a memo might be backfiring in Washington DC, with Republicans, including Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), saying in interviews that the memo doesn’t undermine the Russia investigation. But that reality is not reaching the base.