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Americans are split on Donald Trump’s ethics policies

Americans are split on Donald Trump’s ethics policies

The incoming Trump administration has Americans split over whether the President-elect and his family are complying with ethics laws.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted by Langer Research Associates finds that a bare majority of Americans believe his business ownership plan is sufficient while three-quarters say he should release his tax returns.

Results on Trump’s handling of the transition, views on his policy proposals and expectations for his presidency will be released Tuesday morning alongside Barack Obama’s final approval rating.

In terms of ethics, the poll finds Americans are split on whether or not Trump, his family, and his advisers are complying with federal ethics laws: 43% think they are compliant and 44% think they have failed on the ethics front.

The gap across party lines is more evident than ever with 79% of Republicans saying Trump is complying with ethics laws. That number falls to 44% among independents and just 16% for Democrats. At the same time 72% of conservatives say he is following proper rules and regulations, a number that drops to 56% among “somewhat” conservative Americans, 37% for moderates, and 25% for liberals.

Donald Trump has been heavily criticized by ethics officials but 52% of Americans say Trump’s plan to continue owning his businesses while placing them in a trust managed by his sons is sufficient. At the same time, 42% say he should sell his businesses, peaking at 71% of Clinton supporters versus just 10% of those who favored Trump for the office.

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An overwhelming number of respondents (74%) say Donald Trump should release his tax returns, including 49% of his own supporters. It is the highest number of respondents who want to see his tax returns in recent polling.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 12-15, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. The poll has a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points.

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