Majority of U.S. Public Has 'Favorable' View of FBI, Despite Trump's Criticism

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President Donald Trump speaks at the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony on December 15, 2017 in Quantico, Virginia. The U.S. leader has repeatedly criticized the agency. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty

The majority of people in the U.S. still have "favorable" views of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), despite President Donald Trump's repeated criticism of the agency.

A study from the Pew Research Center found that 66 percent of people in the U.S. have a favorable opinion of the FBI, compared to 23 percent who said they had an "unfavorable" view of the agency.

While the overall ratings of the FBI showed little change over the past year, a partisan gap in views on the FBI appears to have widened, with Republicans' opinions of the agency becoming more negative.

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President Donald Trump speaks at the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony on December 15, 2017 in Quantico, Virginia. The U.S. leader has repeatedly criticized the agency. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty

The survey, conducted between February 7-11 and involving 1,009 participants, found that only 55 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a positive view of the FBI, compared to 78 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners.

Just a year ago, 65 percent of Republicans had given the FBI positive ratings, with only 21 percent saying they had negative views.

The 23-percentage-point gap between Republicans' and Democrats' views on the agency is one of the widest gaps seen in attitudes toward the 10 agencies the Pew Research Center polled participants on, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service.

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The partisan gap in views on the FBI appears to have widened. Pew Research Center

There were also wide partisan differences in views on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Half of Republicans were found to have a favorable view of the IRS, compared with 68 percent of Democrats, while 52 percent of Republicans were found to look positively toward the EPA, compared to 66 percent of Democrats.

The majority of the general public looked favorably upon the IRS and EPA, with 58 percent holding positive views on the former and 60 percent looking favorably upon the EPA. Most people polled also appeared to have favorable opinions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The general public's approval of the FBI—and Republicans' growing disapproval—comes amid a steady stream of criticism leveled at the agency by the president. Trump has repeatedly lashed out at the FBI over its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that resulted in Trump's victory.

Read more: Trump branded 'psychopath' after blaming FBI's Russia probe for failure to investigate Florida shooting tip

The president was admonished as a "psychopath" over the weekend after he accused the agency of failing to properly investigate a tip on the suspect behind the Florida school shooting last week because of its Russia investigation.

Trump tweeted Saturday:

The U.S. leader did not offer any evidence of a link between the Russian meddling investigation and the FBI's failure to prevent the shooting.

Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego responded to the president's tweet, calling him a "psychopath."

Survivors of the shooting also hit out at the president, with 16-year-old Morgan Williams tweeting: "Oh my god. 17 of my classmates and friends are gone and you have the audacity to make this about Russia???!!"

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller's indictment said that those accused used fake online personas and staged political rallies posing as Americans to promote divisive messages.

Majority of U.S. Public Has 'Favorable' View of FBI, Despite Trump's Criticism | U.S.