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GOP voters still loyal to Trump after controversial Putin meeting

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Trump
Republican
voters are sticking with President Donald Trump despite
widespread criticism over his handling of a summit with Russian
President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last
week.

Joshua
Roberts/Reuters


  • Republican voters overwhelmingly approve of President
    Donald Trump, even after a controversial summit with Russian
    President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
  • A new NBC/Wall
    Street Journal poll
     showed 88% of Republicans approve
    of the job Trump is doing as president.
  • Overall, the poll showed that Trump’s approval rating
    is relatively low, standing at 45% among all registered
    voters. 
  • More than half of Republicans approve of Trump’s
    handling of Russia, but only 26% of all voters feel the same
    way, according to the poll. 

Republican voters overwhelmingly approve of President Donald
Trump, even after a controversial summit with Russian President
Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last week that prompted criticism from
politicians and media figures on both sides of the political
spectrum. 

A new NBC/Wall
Street Journal poll
 showed 88% of Republicans approve of
the job Trump is doing as president. Half of the poll was
conducted before and the day of Trump’s infamous joint press
conference with Putin in Helsinki and half was conducted the day
after. 

This suggests the meeting and subsequent backlash didn’t impact
Trump’s standing with his base as much as some may have
predicted. In fact, this poll marks the highest level of support
Trump has had among Republican voters since he took office. 

Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who helped conduct the
NBC/WSJ poll, pointed to media coverage of Trump for the strong
support he’s seeing among Republican voters. 

“The more Trump gets criticized by the media, the more his
base seems to rally behind him,” Yang told NBC. 

Trump was widely criticized for his rhetoric and demeanor in
Helsinki after he appeared to side with Putin over the US
intelligence community on the subject of Russian election
interference.

The president’s handling of the Putin meeting had some in the
media describing last week as the worst week of his presidency,
and former CIA Director John Brennan went as far to describe
Trump’s behavior as “treasonous.”

Former House speaker and Trump adviser Newt Gingrich
characterized the Helsinki meeting as “the most serious
mistake of his presidency
.”

After returning to the US, the president claimed he misspoke in
Helsinki and said he believed the US intelligence community’s
conclusion that Russia interfered in the election, though he
added it could be “other people also.”

But on Sunday, Trump took to Twitter and suggested that the
subject of Russian election interference is “all
a big hoax.”

Despite
Trump’s flip-flopping
on this subject and continued flattery
of Putin, it seems Republican voters are sticking with him. 

The NBC/WSJ poll showed
53%
 of GOP voters approve of Trump’s handling of Russia.
Meanwhile, only 6% of Democrats feel the same way.

Overall, the poll showed Trump’s approval rating is relatively
low, standing at 45% among all registered voters. 

On the subject of Russia, only 26% of all voters approve of
Trump’s approach to US-Russia relations. 

The poll also found that just 36% of independent voters approve
of Trump in general, which marks a seven-point drop from
June. 

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