A Monmouth poll released Wednesday showed President Donald Trump’s approval rating has dropped to an all-time low 32 percent, but the ratings do not tell the entire story, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During a marathon annual press conference that lasted more than three hours today, Putin only spent a small amount of time talking about the U. S. and Trump, but he took the time to send a message to Trump that he is in his corner.
“I am on good terms with Trump,” Putin said, adding that he hopes the U. S. president has more opportunities to improve ties with Russia “and fulfill his election promises in that respect.”
Putin echoed his earlier statements by saying the ongoing Mueller investigation and reports of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 U. S. election were “invented” by Trump opponents.
The allegations are “incapacitating the president and showing a lack of respect to the electorate” Putin said.
Putin said he was not the one to assess what kind of job Trump has done in his first year of office, although some might argue the Russian leader did just that.
“We objectively see some quite significant achievements,” Putin said, naming the growth in the U. S. markets as one.
Putin’s favorable remarks about the American president came on the same day that a Washington Post report said White House aides and those briefing Trump on security issues had soft-pedaled any negative mention of Russia, particularly if it involves that country’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The article indicates National Security Council members know that if they bring up Russian interference, it will make Trump angry.
Trump’s praise of Putin has upset America’s allies and has caused problems for Cabinet members as they try to deal with issues that involve Russia, according to the article. The article quotes a senior administration official as saying Trump’s reaction to mentions of Russian interference is understandable.
“The president obviously feels that the idea that he has been put into office by Vladimir Putin is pretty insulting.”
U. S. officials told the Post the Kremlin got what it wanted from interfering in the election, the destabilizing of American democracy and not having Hillary Clinton as president. Putin has made it no secret that he despises Clinton.
During his recent meeting with Putin, Trump indicated that he believed Putin’s insistence that he did not meddle in the U. S. election.
“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that’ and I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”
After that meeting, Trump insisted he and Putin “have the potential to have a very, very good relationship.”