Pew study: Views about Trump's Ukraine actions vary based on news diet

Pew study: Views about Trump's Ukraine actions vary based on news diet
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A new study out this week shows that Americans’ views of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE’s dealings with Ukraine are largely varied based on the media outlets they listen to or read to get their news.

A study from Pew that was conducted in November and released Friday found that 65 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters who got their political news only from media outlets with right-leaning audiences said Trump withheld military aid to Kyiv to reduce corruption in Ukraine.

Only 10 percent of these respondents said Trump withheld the aid to help his reelection campaign. 

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However, among Republicans who get their political news from a combination of outlet types with a wider range of audiences, only 46 percent said the hold was to advance U.S. policy against corruption and 24 percent cited political gains. 

The difference is slimmer among Democrats.

Of those who got political news only from outlets with left-leaning audiences, 75 percent said Trump withheld the aid to help his campaign and 4 percent said it was to fight corruption. Of those who got political news from a more varied range of outlets, 77 percent said Trump was seeking political gain and 3 percent said he was working to advance U.S. policy. 

Of Democrats who got news only from outlets with mixed or right-leaning audiences, 49 percent said Trump withheld aid to help his campaign and 7 percent said it was to fight corruption. Another 41 percent were unsure. 

“We do see the correlation between media diet and what people are hearing, seeing and thinking in terms of perceptions of motivation for actions,” Amy Mitchell, Pew’s director of journalism research, told The Associated Press

The poll also showed sharp divides in trust among Republicans and Democrats.

Three-quarters of conservative Republicans said they trust Fox News, and two-thirds said they distrust CNN. The opposite is true among Democrats – 70 percent said they trusted CNN and 77 percent said they distrust Fox News.

Trump’s decision to withhold aid to Ukraine is at the heart of the impeachment proceedings on Capitol Hill, with Republicans saying the effort was an attempt to battle corruption and Democrats saying the aid was used as leverage to pressure Kyiv to investigate his political rivals. 

Pew polled 12,043 adults from Oct. 29-Nov. 11.