Poll: Nearly half say Trump-Putin ties harmful to US

Poll: Nearly half say Trump-Putin ties harmful to US
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About half of registered voters view President Trump’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin as harmful to the U.S., according to a new poll.

Forty-eight percent say the pair’s relationship is mostly bad for the U.S. in the McClatchy-Marist survey released Friday. Thirty-nine percent say it is largely good for the U.S., while 14 percent remain unsure.

Pollsters also found 20 percent believe Trump has had illegal dealings with Putin, while 28 percent think the two leaders have had dealings that are unethical but not illegal.

Trump has repeatedly called for friendlier ties with Putin, worrying Democrats and Republicans alike who see the Russian leader as a threat to the U.S.

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The president at a press conference earlier this month said he has no business dealings with Russia and called reports about his ties to Putin "fake news."

"I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia. President Putin called me up very nicely to congratulate me on the win of the election," Trump said.

"He then called me up extremely nicely to congratulate me on the inauguration, which was terrific. But so did many other leaders, almost all other leaders from almost all of the countries. So that's the extent."

CNN reported Thursday the FBI rejected a recent White House request to dispute media accounts of ties between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian intelligence officials.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said last Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a New York Times story alleging ties between Russian intelligence and Trump’s campaign was "total baloney.”

The Marist poll also found that 53 percent believe Trump has weakened America on the world stage. Thirty-nine percent say he has strengthened the U.S. globally, while 8 percent are undecided.

Fifty percent also contend Trump has diminished America’s standing during his meetings and talks with foreign leaders.

Forty-two percent state Trump has bolstered the U.S. instead, and 8 percent have no take.

McClatchy-Marist conducted its latest survey of 865 registered voters via cellphone and landline telephone interviews from Feb. 15 to 19. It has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.