Half of Americans disapproved of Trump's performance at the Putin summit, poll finds

Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
  • Half of Americans disapproved of how Trump handled his meeting with Putin, while 33% approved, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday.
  • Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Putin came several days after Russian intelligence officers were indicted on suspicion of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.
  • Findings from the poll were highly divided by party, with most Democrats disapproving of Trump’s performance and the majority of Republicans approving.

Americans disapproved of the way President Donald Trump handled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The poll found that 33% of adults approved of how Trump handled the meeting while 50% disapproved. Nearly one-fifth of adults, 17%, said they had no opinion. Among registered voters, 54% disapproved of Trump’s performance at the meeting.

The two leaders met for a conference in Helsinki on July 16 to talk about a broad range of topics. The meeting came just days after the special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers suspected of playing a role in the hack of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 US election.

Most of the respondents with an opinion felt strongly about Trump’s handling of the meeting. Those who strongly approved numbered 18%. More people – 37% – strongly disapproved than showed any level of approval.

Democrats had a near consensus on Trump’s handling of the summit, with 83% disapproving and 8% approving. Republicans were more split – 66% approved and 18% disapproved. Independent voters closely matched the overall poll numbers, with 33% approving and 46% disapproving.

The sample size consisted of 32% Democrats, 24% Republicans, and 38% independents.

The poll also found that 47% of Americans think the country’s world leadership has gotten weaker under Trump, with 30% believing it has strengthened, and 20% responding that there has been no change.

Fifty-six per cent disapproved of Trump expressing doubts about the US intelligence community’s findings on Russian influence of the election during a press conference with Putin. Only 29% disapproved.

Americans were also divided in Trump’s support of Putin. Of those surveyed, 40% think that Trump went too far in his support, 15% said he didn’t go far enough, and 35% found the support for Putin was about right.

The poll was conducted among 464 US adults via phone from July 18 to 20. The overall sampling error was plus or minus 5.5%.

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