We know that Trump loves him some Vlad Putin – for whatever reason that probably has nothing whatsoever to do with Putin having the goods on Trump’s Moscow escapades and ties to the Russian Mob. But Trump’s affection towards the Russian strongman is now influencing a large segment of the American public. Republicans are now loving themselves some Putin and increasingly falling in line with their dear leader. Gallup reports:
A major reason for the overall rise in Putin’s favorable rating this year is Republicans’ more positive views of the Russian leader, from 12% in 2015 to 32% today. This comes at a time when President Donald Trump wants to improve relations with Russia, after somewhat frosty relations between the two countries during Barack Obama’s presidency. Independents’ opinions of Putin also have grown more positive in the last two years, but to a lesser extent than Republicans’. Democrats’ views have become slightly less positive, with just 10% viewing Putin favorably today.
So 32% of freedom-loving Republicans now have a favorable view of the former KGB agent who stole Crimea, invaded Ukraine, brutally suppressed Chechnya, destroyed the free press in Russia, pocketed billions for himself and cronies, jailed dissidents and opponents, murdered countless other opponents, ordered more slaughter in Syria, propped other dictators and interfered in our latest election. What’s not to like?