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Poll: Half of Americans Think Trump Acted ‘Treasonous’ in Helsinki

The Daily Beast logo The Daily Beast 7/20/2018 By Scott.Bixby@thedailybeast.com (Scott Bixby)
Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin are posing for a picture: Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast

President Donald Trump has repeatedly defended his extraordinary performance at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki, dismissing the “many haters” who wanted to see “a boxing match.”

Americans are far from convinced, according to a new Daily Beast/Ipsos poll.

Nearly half of the respondents (49 percent) said they agreed with assessments that Trump’s performance at the summit could be described as “treasonous.” That included 21 percent of Republican respondents. By contrast, a mere quarter (27 percent) of respondents disagreed with the assessment of treasonous behavior.

The findings are the latest in a round of highly critical reviews of the president’s performance, during which he criticized U.S. law enforcement, lashed out at special counsel Robert Mueller, and dismissed the American intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia undermined the 2016 U.S. presidential election. According to the pool, 49 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that Trump is “too deferential” towards Putin, including 69 percent of Democrats and one third of Republicans.

Respondents also said that the summit failed to serve America’s larger geopolitical interests. Only five percent of Americans think the United States benefited from the summit more than Russia, while a third of the public (34%) said the summit was more beneficial to Russia than to the United States. Sixteen percent think that the summit was not beneficial to either country.

Although Trump has repeatedly questioned that Putin meddled in the 2016 campaign, the majority of Americans believe that the Kremlin has not made its last foray into election espionage.

More than half, 51 percent, believe that Russia will interfere in the U.S. midterm elections, with 70 percent of Democrats convinced that the Kremlin will engage in a repeat attack and 37 percent of Republicans agreeing. Just a quarter of those polled believe that the Trump administration is able to prevent those threats.

Trump’s embrace of the Russian president has had a domestic political impact too. Thirty percent of Republicans said they had  a favorable view of Putin, while among Democrats, Putin’s favorability rating is Marianas Trench-level low at a mere ten percent—the same favorability rating Democrats give Trump himself.

The poll was conducted from July 18 (two days after the summit) through July 19, 2018. It included a sample of roughly 1,005 adults ages 18 and older.

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