Poll: Majority of voters disapprove of Trump on Russia, border policy

Poll: Majority of voters disapprove of Trump on Russia, border policy
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A majority of American voters disapprove of the way President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE has been dealing with both Russia and border policy, while half approve of his handling of the economy, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday.

Just 26 percent of American voters have a positive view of how Trump is handling relations with Moscow, compared to 51 percent who disapprove, the poll found.

Voters, however, were sharply divided along party lines on the issue, with 53 percent of Republicans giving Trump the thumbs-up and just 6 percent of Democrats expressing their approval. 

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Independents were more closely aligned with Democrats on the question, with about 14 percent saying they approve of Trump's handling of U.S.-Russia relations.

The poll found Trump's job-approval rating at 45 percent, up 1 point from June. Meanwhile, his approval rating among Republicans was at 88 percent, according to the poll -- the highest of his presidency so far.

“These numbers don’t budge,” GOP pollster Bill McInturff told the news outlets. “The Republican numbers don’t budge.”

“The more Trump gets criticized by the media, the more his base seems to rally behind him,” he added.

The poll results came days after Trump stirred controversy during a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, where he challenged the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.

While he later walked back that statement, insisting that he misspoke, the White House announced this week that Trump had instructed his national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington this fall. 

U.S.-Russia relations aren't the only area where Trump sees low approval. Only 31 percent of respondents in the NBC/WSJ poll said that they approve of the way the Trump administration has treated migrant families at the U.S. southern border. About 58 percent said that they disapproved.

Trump and his administration came under intense fire after it was revealed that thousands of migrant children had been separated from their parents after crossing into the U.S. without permission. That prompted widespread calls for Trump to end the "zero tolerance" policy announced in April that prioritized the prosecutions of people who enter the U.S. illegally.

A federal judge ordered the government to swiftly reunite separated families late last month, putting the Trump administration on a tight deadline to do so.

Trump sees his highest approval on his handling of the economy, at 50 percent. The Commerce Department is set to release GDP numbers on July 27, and some forecasts indicate that growth could be above 4 percent.

At the same time, however, Trump's tariffs on China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico have driven fears of rising prices for consumers and manufacturers. According to the NBC/WSJ poll, just 38 percent approve of Trump's handling of trade, compared to 45 percent who disapproved.

The NBC/WSJ poll surveyed 900 registered voters from July 15-18. It's margin of error is plus or minus 3.3. percentage points.