How do Republicans feel about the FBI? Well, it's complicated. It enjoyed the party's trust a few years ago in January 2015, when Reuters polling found that 84 percent of Republicans had a "favorable" view of the agency. Just last month, Reuters found that 91 percent of Republicans had confidence in the law enforcement agencies.
Now? Seventy-three percent of Republicans say that “members of the FBI and Department of Justice are working to delegitimize Trump through politically motivated investigations.”
Wow: Republican views of FBI— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) February 6, 2018
Last month: 91% have “great deal” or “some” confidence in country’s law enforcement agencies.
Today: 73% agree “members of FBI & Dept of Justice are working together to delegitimize Trump through politically motivated investigations.”
The declassification of the House Intelligence Committee memo on surveillance abuses can help explain the drastic shift. The four-page memo, written by Republican Chairman Devin Nunes, describes how the FBI violated FISA to spy on members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. It seems they used an unsubstantiated dossier tying Trump to Russia to seek their warrants.
Republicans also had reason to lose trust in the FBI after seeing the anti-Trump texts FBI agent Peter Strzok sent to his mistress and bureau lawyer Lisa Page. He was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after the discovery.
Three in four Democrats, meanwhile, believe it's the other way around. “Members of the Republican Party and the White House are working to delegitimize the FBI and DOJ in the investigation of Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election,” they believe, according to Reuters polling.
The Democrats are planning to release their own, longer memo, one that House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff claims includes proper context the Republicans conveniently omitted. The committee voted unanimously to make it public and it is now under review by Trump.
One final intriguing statistic from Reuters: Fifty-two percent of Americans say they believe Trump or someone from his campaign colluded with Russia.