Most Republicans approve of Donald Trump Jr.’s decision to seek out damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign by taking a meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, according to a new poll.
In a Politico/Morning Consult poll released on Wednesday, 52% of Republicans said they think it was appropriate for Trump Jr. to take the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya on the premise of obtaining dirt on his father’s opponent in the presidential election.
The share of Republicans who thought the meeting was appropriate actually rose after pollsters disclosed the purpose of the controversial meeting.
When Republican voters who participated in the poll were told the meeting was set up so that Veselnitskaya “could allegedly provide official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary Clinton,” Republicans’ approval of the meeting rose from 44% to 52%.
Opinions on the meeting are largely divided along party lines — 53% of all registered voters in the poll said they disapprove of the meeting, compared to just 28% who said the meeting was appropriate. Just 9% of Democrats said the meeting was appropriate for the purpose of seeking damaging information on Clinton.
Conducted from July 13-15, the online poll surveyed 1,994 registered voters, and had a margin of error plus or minus 2 percentage points.
The poll followed a series of surveys that show that President Donald Trump is on course to be the lowest-rated president at this point in his administration since the advent of modern polling. FiveThirtyEight’s approval tracker of major polls put Trump’s approval at 39%, with a disapproval rating of 55%.
But while a series of revelations about the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia have raised concerns among Democrats and much of the national security community, it remains unclear whether the issue will seriously damage Trump further.
HuffPost noted earlier this week that the unfolding events surrounding the investigation of the Trump campaign’s potential connections to Russia and Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as FBI director have barely moved public opinion against Trump.
Indeed, Morning Consult’s poll showed that just 12% of Americans said Trump should be impeached if the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia finds evidence of collusion.
Recent surveys have also showed that voters were largely split along partisan lines over whether they felt Trump benefited from Russian meddling in the 2016 election.