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Over half of American disapprove of Trump’s performance on Russia

More than half of American voters disapprove of the way US President Donald Trump is dealing with Russia, according a to new poll conducted in the wake of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.

According to the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released to The Hill on Thursday, 58 percent disapproved and 42 percent approved Trump’s performance in handling Moscow.

Forty-two percent of the voters said Trump appeared “strong” alongside the Russian leader in Helsinki while 59 percent believed that he appeared “weak.”

Only 9 percent said that Trump benefitted more from the summit, more than the 47 percent who said that Putin gained the most.

At a press conference following the recent summit in the Finnish capital, Trump backed the Russian leader’s denial of alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election despite the American intelligence community’s assessment.

The poll showed that 57 percent believed Trump should have acted otherwise and denounced the alleged Russian interference, while 43 percent said he did right.

Trump’s performance kicked off a hailstorm of criticism against him, forcing the president to deny his comment about alleged Russian meddling later and cancel a scheduled meeting with Putin.

“He was wise to cancel the next summit with Putin as the last one created a round of problems for him,” said Mark Penn, the Co-Director of the Harvard-Harris poll. “His summit with [North Korean leader] Kim [Jong Un] was viewed as a success; this one made Trump look weak.”

Ever since Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, the US intelligence community has overwhelmingly maintained that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 election.

Russia has denied meddling in the election as well as being in possession of any damaging information on the US president.

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