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‘Donald Trump did something “illegal” with Russia,’ 58% of Americans believe

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A large number of Americans believe Donald Trump did something “illegal” or “unethical” with the Russians, as investigations continue on the alleged interference from Vladimir Putin‘s government during America’s last presidential elections.

According to a recent poll conducted by NPR, PBS News Hour and Marist, most Republicans are of the opinion that Trump is innocent until proven guilty.

Image: Donald J. Trump

“Nobody really knows for sure,” Trump, 71, claims in a statement.

“I won’t be specific,” he added in Poland. “A lot of people interfere. It’s been happening for a long time.”

The Democrats and Independents believe Mr. Trump and his campaign associates did something “shady” with Putin’s government although proofs to this allegation remains elusive.

Mr. President is scheduled for a face-to-face meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday, but the different opinions, suspicions or allegations won’t matter to the bosom friends. Instead, Americans are worried about how Mr. President will handle his first meeting with Putin.

Trump and Putin have plans to sit down for an extensive discussion when they meet on Friday in Hamburg, Germany, during the G20 International Summit.

A majority of Americans think Russia is a major threat to future U.S. elections, while 20 percent say Russia poses a minor threat to future U.S. elections. Only 13 percent said the country poses no threat at all. However, about 12 percent said they think Russia wasn’t involved at all.

“When it comes to Russia, the lenses of Democrats and Republicans have a very different tint,” said Lee Miringoff, director of The Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Here are highlights from the survey released on Thursday:

  • 25 percent of all those polled believe the president did “something illegal,” 29 percent think he did “something unethical, but not illegal” and 36 percent say he did nothing wrong.
  • 4 percent of Republicans think he did “something illegal,” 15 percent say he did “something unethical, but not illegal” and 73 percent believe he did “nothing wrong.”
  • 41 percent of Democrats say he did “something illegal,” 39 percent believe he did “something unethical, but not illegal” and 13 percent think he did “nothing wrong.”
  • 27 percent of independents think Trump did “something illegal,” 31 percent say he did “something unethical, but not illegal” and 32 percent say he did “nothing wrong.”

The rest of the poll breaks down like this:

  • 42 percent of all those polled believe Trump is a more effective leader than Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • 36 percent say Putin is more effective than Trump.
  • 47 percent say Russian hacking poses a major threat to future U.S. elections; 20 percent say a minor threat; 13 percent say no threat at all and 12 percent do not believe Russia was involved in any hacking.

The poll surveyed 1,205 adults from June 21-25. There is a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

Image shows a photoshopped picture of Putin and Trump from Steve Aoki.com

Obama’s administration warned Russia without mincing words, to stay off America’s presidential election. The order was issued both publicly and in private, but Trump believes his predecessor may not have taken adequate measures to back up his words.

“They say he choked. Well, I don’t think he choked,” Trump said of Obama. “I think he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election, and he said, ‘Let’s not do anything about it.'”

The Republican president was warned [by the CIA] of Russia’s meddling shortly before he assumed office, but it’s clear he isn’t the kind of leader who draws “red lines” easily.

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