(CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller's approval rating for handling the Russia investigation stands at 50% in a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS. That outpaces President Donald Trump's approval rating on the matter by 20 points.
CNN Poll: More approve of Mueller than of Trump
The poll is CNN's first since the conviction of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on tax and bank fraud charges stemming from Mueller's investigation and guilty pleas from Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen on several charges after an investigation that Mueller had referred to the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
Mueller's approval rating stands at its highest level in CNN polling, rising 3 points since August, a shift within the poll's margin of sampling error. Trump's rating, meanwhile, dipped 4 points, narrowly larger than the error margin.
Cohen's plea addressed charges including those related to his involvement in six-figure payments just before the 2016 election to silence two women for alleged affairs with Trump years previously. The President has denied the claims. The poll finds a growing share of Americans now think Trump did know about the $130,000 payment made directly by Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels in October 2016 (73% say so in the survey, up from 67% in May). Almost two-thirds in the poll say Trump did direct his lawyer to make that payment, as Cohen claimed in court while entering his guilty plea.