CNN Poll: Trump approval at new low as Russia concerns grow

WASHINGTON ()Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at its lowest point in CNN’s polling as concerns about contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian operatives have grown sharply in the wake of the first indictments from the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the US election.

Overall, just 36% say they approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS, worse by one percentage point than Trump’s previous low of 37%, reached in October. Disapproval has also reached a new high at 58%, with nearly half (48%) saying they strongly disapprove of the way the President is handling his job.
More Americans than ever before express concern about contacts between suspected Russian operatives and Trump’s presidential campaign. Forty-four percent say they are “very concerned” about those reports, up from just 27% saying so in July, shortly after news broke about a meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump, Jr. Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer, among others.
The new poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, following the announcement last week of indictments against Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his associate, Rick Gates, as well as news that a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign had pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI after he lied about his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government.
Almost six in 10, 59%, say they think Trump himself knew last year that anyone associated with his campaign had contact with suspected Russian operatives, while only 35% think the then-GOP nominee did not know about those contacts. Fewer (39%) see last week’s legal actions as signs of a widespread effort within the campaign to coordinate with Russia; 44% say they represent an effort to coordinate that was limited to just a few people.
And with the investigation’s first charges, the poll also finds broader support for a full investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the election as well as a rising share who consider such meddling a crisis.
About two-thirds (64%) now say the investigation into Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election in 2016 is a serious matter that should be fully investigated, while just 32% see it as an effort to discredit Trump’s presidency. That figure is down from 38% saying so in August.
Just 34% approve of the way Trump is handling that investigation, 54% disapprove, though that represents an improvement since August, when 59% disapproved.
Trump responded to last week’s charges by taking to Twitter, writing that there was “NO COLLUSION,” urging the FBI and Justice Department to look in to the Democrats and Clinton campaign, and calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”
The percentage who say it’s a “crisis” for the United States if the Russian government did attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election now stands at 22%, our highest read on that measure, up from 16% seeing it as that serious in April. Overall, about two-thirds consider it a crisis or major problem. The US intelligence community has said Russia tried to influence the election.



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