The US is getting its first glimpse of how voters feel after Trump's meeting with Putin — and most Republicans still love him

Mikhail MetzelTASS via Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
  • 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 criticised by the media, the more his base seems to rally behind him,” Yang told NBC.

Trump was widely criticised for his rhetoric and demeanour 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 behaviour as “treasonous.”

Former House speaker and Trump adviser Newt Gingrich characterised 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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