- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 19, 2018

While President Trump continues to face bipartisan backlash over his comments at the Helsinki summit, his Republican base overwhelmingly supported his performance, according to an Axios/Survey Monkey poll released Thursday.

The poll shows that the vast majority — 79 percent — of Republicans approve of how Mr. Trump handled himself at the joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Overall, a 58 percent majority of Americans did not like the president’s comments in Finland on Monday. The divide falls on partisan lines, with 91 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents taking a critical view on the culmination of the Helsinki summit.

Mr. Trump faced harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle, with many describing his comments as disappointing at best.

At the press conference with Mr. Putin, Mr. Trump refused to directly say Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee and meddling with the 2016 presidential election. On Tuesday at the White House, Mr. Trump said he misspoke in Finland and meant to use a double negative.

The poll surveyed more than 2,000 adults from July 16-17, 48 hours immediately following the Trump-Putin joint press conference.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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