Americans give Trump negative marks for Helsinki performance

WASHINGTON — By wide margins, Americans give President Trump negative marks for his conduct during a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and for his casting doubt on findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found.

But public reaction nationally appears more muted than in Washington, where Trump faced withering bipartisan criticism for appearing to side with Putin over US intelligence agencies at a Monday news conference held in Helsinki.

Most Americans do not feel Trump went ‘‘too far’’ in supporting Putin, and while more Americans say US leadership has gotten weaker than stronger under Trump, his ratings on this question are slightly improved from last fall.


The findings indicate that while Trump was judged critically for his summit performance, the event has not yet proved to be a significant turning point in his presidency.

The poll results suggest that overall attitudes have hardened on both sides and that major events like Helsinki produce only modest changes in Trump’s overall standing, if any.

The Post-ABC poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday, finds that overall, 33 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of his meeting with Putin, while 50 percent disapprove. A sizable 18 percent have no opinion.

Fifty-six percent disapprove of Trump expressing doubts about US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election. On both questions, those who say they ‘‘strongly disapprove’’ of Trump’s performance outnumber those who say they ‘‘strongly approve,’’ by better than 2 to 1.

A Washington Post-Schar School poll earlier this month found 43 percent approved of Trump’s job performance, while 55 percent disapproved, with strong disapproval outpacing strong approval by roughly 2 to 1.

The new Post-ABC poll finds 40 percent saying Trump went ‘‘too far’’ in supporting Putin.

However, almost as many, 35 percent, say Trump handled Putin ‘‘about right’’; 15 percent say he did not go far enough to support Putin. The rest have no opinion.


Washington Post