Donald Trump's Popularity Drops 4 Points in Wake of Comey Firing

trump, comey
President Donald Trump in the House of Representatives on February 28 and then-FBI Director James Comey in Washington on July 7, 2016. Jim Lo Scalzo/Gary Cameron/Reuters

Donald Trump's approval rating has fallen by 4 points in the wake of several weeks of controversial developments, including his decision to oust FBI chief James Comey.

The Harvard-Harris poll, provided exclusively to The Hill, was taken May 17-20 and shows the president's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent from the 49 percent in the same survey taken in March.

In particular, respondents to the survey—which questioned 2,006 registered voters rather than people sampled from the general population—disapproved of Trump's decision to fire Comey, as well as how he went about ousting the former bureau chief.

"The poll, taken at the height of the Comey frenzy, shows a weakening hand, as would be expected," Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard-Harris survey, told The Hill.

"He is holding on to 90 percent of his voters, and his ratings are still above approval ratings for both the Democratic and Republican parties," Penn said.

But Comey has proved to be no more popular than Trump; in fact, the majority of people polled (60 percent) disapproved of Comey's performance as head of the FBI.

Additionally, 70 percent of people disliked the way in which Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Penn said, "The polling on Comey shows that President Trump is more in trouble for the way he fired Comey rather than for removing him."

Another bump in the road for Trump came after The Washington Post revealed that he shared highly classified information about a plot by the Islamic State group (ISIS), which was obtained through an intelligence-sharing partnership, with Russian officials in the Oval Office.

The majority of voters (52 percent across both parties and 56 percent of independents) surveyed said they did not think it was appropriate for the president to reveal such highly classified information to Russia. This possibly affected Trump's popularity rating as well.

Although the poll does show a drop in approval for Trump, it gives higher figures than many other approval-rating polls, possibly because the questions went to voters rather than members of the general public.