The majority of the country believes a group of unelected government and military officials secretly manipulate national policy, according to a new Monmouth Poll released Monday.
Of those polled, 27 percent says the unelected group — known as the deep state — definitely exists and another 47 percent probably exists. Sixteen percent says it probably does not exists and 5 percent says it definitely does not exists.
President Donald Trump in the past has railed against the deep state. Earlier this year, he tweeted that the Justice Department is part of it, posting: "Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others."
Republicans and independents are more likely to believe in the existence of the deep state, with 31 percent and 33 percent respectively. Only 19 percent of Democrats say the deep state definitely exists.
Approximately 80 percent of those polled also believes the U.S. government is currently monitoring or spying on the actives of American citizens. Fifty-three percent say the activity is widespread, with 29 percent the monitoring is happening, but it is not as widespread. Only 14 percent believe no monitoring happens at all.
Few voters believe government monitoring is usually justified, with only 18 percent. Fifty-three percent, however, say that government monitoring is only sometimes justified and another 28 percent say it’s rarely or never justified.
The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, with a random sample of 803 adults. The interviews were conducted in English through landline and cell phone interviews.