More Republicans have negative view of Biden than of Putin, poll finds

More Republicans have a negative view of Joe Biden than of Vladimir Putin and more Democrats have a negative view of Donald Trump than of the Russian leader, according to a new poll.

The findings point to deep domestic divisions as well as disagreement over Biden’s handling of the Ukraine crisis.

Fox News released the poll, which it said was carried out before Russia invaded Ukraine.

It said 92% of Republicans had a negative view of Biden while 81% had a negative view of Putin. Among Democrats, 87% had a negative view of Trump and 85% a negative view of Putin.

Biden has condemned the Russian invasion and introduced tough economic sanctions, in concert with other world powers.

Trump has repeatedly praised Putin and criticised Biden, on Thursday adapting a favorite golfing metaphor to claim the Russian leader was playing his counterpart “like a drum”.

Trump’s attacks are in line with those from Republicans in Congress, who claim Biden has been too weak on Russia, both as president and as vice-president under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.

In the Fox News poll, 56% said Biden had not been tough enough on Russia, 8% said he had been too tough and 29% said he had been about right.

Among Democrats, 42% of respondents said they wanted Biden to be tougher and 47% said his actions were about right.

Fox News said Biden’s numbers tracked closely to the same question about Trump when he was in power. In July 2018, 53% said Trump was not tough enough, 5% too tough and 35% about right.

That month, Russian election interference in Trump’s favor and his links with Moscow were the subject of an investigation in which the special counsel, Robert Mueller, ultimately said he could not say Trump did not seek to obstruct justice.

Also in July 2018, at a summit in Helsinki, Trump and Putin conducted a meeting behind closed doors and with no close aides. What was discussed is not known.

Trump was impeached in 2020, for attempting to blackmail Ukraine, withholding military aid while…

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