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Trump says approval stacks up to Obama's despite Russia probe

Trump says approval stacks up to Obama's despite Russia probe
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE boasted on Friday that his approval rating is largely on par with that of former President Obama at the same point in his tenure in the White House.

"While the Fake News loves to talk about my so-called low approval rating, @foxandfriends just showed that my rating on Dec. 28, 2017, was approximately the same as President Obama on Dec. 28, 2009, which was 47%...and this despite massive negative Trump coverage & Russia hoax!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

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The tweet appears to be reference a recent poll conducted by the conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports, which pegged Trump's approval at 46 percent. The RealClearPolitics average puts his approval at 39.4 percent.

Minutes later, the president unleashed a flurry of retweets citing the founder of a conservative group, Turning Point USA, in which he touted the GOP rewrite of the nation's tax code and U.S. coalition gains against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in the Middle East, and blasted the media for failing to give Trump credit for his accomplishments.

Trump’s approval ratings have dwindled throughout much of his first year in office and he has often decried what he deems unfair coverage by the mainstream media.

But in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday, Trump insisted that reporters who cover his administration critically would ultimately want him to be reelected, arguing that newspapers, networks and other news outlets would otherwise go out of business.

“Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes,” Trump told the newspaper.

Trump’s tweet on Friday appeared to also be his latest criticizing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, which he has previously called a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

Also in his interview with The New York Times, Trump said that the probe into Russia’s role in the election makes the United States look “very bad,” but also insisted that he believes Mueller will treat him fairly.

“It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”

- Updated at 8:35 a.m.