Poll: Most Americans say Trump not tough enough on Russia
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults say that President Trump has not been tough enough on Russia, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Wednesday.
The poll, conducted from July 19-22, is the latest snapshot of how Americans view Trump’s handling of U.S.-Russia relations after the president’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last week.
The poll found that 64 percent of Americans surveyed think Trump has not taken a hard enough approach to handling Moscow. There was a notable split on party lines, with 47 percent of Republican respondents saying Trump was not hard enough on Russia while an overwhelming 82 percent of Democrats said the same.
Sixty-four percent of independents thought the president was not tough enough on Moscow, according to the poll.
Respondents were more evenly split on whether Trump should see Putin as an ally or an enemy, at 44 percent and 45 percent, respectively.
The poll results come just over a week after Trump stirred controversy at a joint news conference with Putin by challenging the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.
He later walked back those remarks amid pressure from political allies.
According to NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist, more than two-thirds of respondents believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including 51 percent of Republicans.
Nevertheless, Trump has insisted that he wants to build up relations with Moscow, saying that doing so would allow the two countries to cooperate in key areas, like counterterrorism, and reduce tensions between the world’s largest nuclear powers.
A majority of Americans — 59 percent — surveyed said that building better relations with Russia is a good thing, while 32 percent believe that Moscow should be treated as a threat to the U.S.
The poll surveyed 1,061 U.S. adults from July 19-22. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.