More than half of U.S. voters say that President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-Russia ambassador: Trump has done more damage to NATO in months than Russia has in decades Trump takes credit for increased defense spending by NATO allies, but says ‘it isn’t nearly enough’ Trump questions how Russia probe can ‘proceed’ given FBI agent’s private comments MORE is not tough enough in his handling of Russia, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.
The poll results come days before Trump is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki for a highly anticipated summit.
According to the survey, 53 percent of voters think that Trump is “not tough enough” on Moscow, while just about 5 percent said that the U.S. president has been “too tough.”
Thirty-five percent said his handling of Russia was just “about right,” the Fox News poll found.
Despite the majority belief that Trump has not been tough enough on Moscow, 59 percent of American voters believe that meeting with Putin is the right thing to do, compared to 33 percent who said Trump should not sit down with the Russian leader.
Another 31 percent of respondents said that they believe that Putin will emerge from the summit with a “better deal,” while 24 percent predicted that Trump will see a better outcome.
The Fox News poll surveyed 1,007 registered voters from July 9 to 11. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Trump’s planned summit with Putin comes at a particularly tense point in U.S.-Russia relations.
The U.S. intelligence community determined in a report made public early last year that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and concerns about a resurgent Russia have grown in Europe in recent years, especially after Moscow’s 2015 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Trump attended the annual NATO summit this week, where he agreed to a plan to harden the alliance’s defenses against Russia, according to The New York Times. But he has also defended Putin, a former Russian intelligence chief, saying at a rally in Montana earlier this month that he is “fine.”
He has also repeatedly expressed a desire to improve relations with Moscow and has derided a special counsel investigation into whether his campaign colluded with the Russians in 2016 as a “witch hunt.”