Robert Mueller’s ‘no collusion’ finding will be a test of Trump’s approval – Washington Examiner

A major cloud was lifted from above President Trump when special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation without any further indictments and, according to the summary from Attorney General William Barr, determined that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election.

The news will now be an interesting test for Trump’s approval rating.

As I have written previously, Trump’s approval rating has been unprecedented. His approval rating peaked at 45 percent at his inauguration, according to Gallup, making him the only president since data began with Harry Truman to go this long into his administration without ever experiencing majority approval. This is particularly incredible given that the economy has been strong and Trump hasn’t gotten the U.S. into an unpopular war.

Trump, to be sure, had a low approval rating going into his presidency, and his bombastic personality is likely to always make him a polarizing figure. That said, there has always been a theory that the cloud of the Russia investigation was holding back his approval rating. Now that it’s concluded, we’ll start to get a sense of to what extent that was true.

[Read: Attorney General William Barr’s letter on Mueller final report]

Yes, right now we only have a summary of the report from a Trump-appointed attorney general. And while the report supported Trump’s long-term claim that there was no collusion, it also quoted Mueller as writing with regard to obstruction of justice, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” This will be the source of continued debate, likely even after portions of the actual Mueller report are released.

But ultimately, for most people still persuadable, the Mueller report was the big thing. The fact that he didn’t indict anybody on the Trump campaign for colluding with Russia after two years of investigation involving 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, and 2,800 subpoenas, will be a pretty strong argument for Trump to make.

So, if Trump’s approval rating was being weighed down by Russia, the next few weeks should be a good test of that.

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