- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2018

President Trump’s job-approval rating hit a new high in a national poll, with support among Republicans building despite an onslaught of criticism of his dealing with Russia.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll pegged the president’s job-approval at 45 percent, up a percentage point since June to Mr. Trump’s highest score yet in the poll.

His numbers were bolstered by 88 percent approval among Republicans. That’s the strongest support a president has received from his own party since George W. Bush following the September 11 terror attacks.

Mr. Trump’s rating ticked up despite the poll being conducted last week when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, and then suffered heavy criticism of his kid-glove treatment of the Russian foe at a joint press conference.

However, a 51-percent majority of voters did not approve of the relationship between Washington and Moscow, and 45 percent said Mr. Trump was “too friendly” with Mr. Putin.

The share of voters who believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election rose to 65 percent, up 8 percentage points from June 2017, according to the poll.

Mr. Trump has waffled on whether he thinks Russia meddled in the election, which was the chief cause of criticism of his performance in Helsinki.

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