Russia developments have little effect on Trump’s base

HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: A new “Washington-Post”/ABC News poll shows 60 percent of Americans believe Russia tried to influence last year’s election, and 41 percent believe the Trump campaign intentionally aided those efforts. The poll also shows President Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 36 percent. Dig deeper into those numbers, and you’ll see America’s partisan divide.

To discuss that and more, “NewsHour Weekend’s” Jeff Greenfield is here in the studio.

Jeff, the conversations that have happened since we had this revelation, Donald Trump Jr. exposing his own email, saying here’s the meeting, et cetera, how does this play with Trump’s base?

JEFF GREENFIELD, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: It’s as if it didn’t matter and this is a constant. We have been talking about this almost — it feels like almost on a weekly basis. In that poll, fewer than one in 10 Republicans think it was anything bothersome about the Russia-Trump family connections. And what that tells you is that they have accepted Trump’s fundamental argument that if you see or read something about me negative about Russia, it’s fake by definition.

And I think what that means is as the press has moved further and further to say, you know, there’s something here, what you see is some conservative columnists like Charles Krauthammer say, yes, this is serious. But they never were for Trump in the first place. If you look at Hannity, “Fox and Friends” and “Breitbart” and that poll number, what you see is among Trump’s real supporters, they just aren’t buying that anything happened here.

SREENIVASAN: Can anything change that?

GREENFIELD: You know, in a normal world, in normal political world, I’d be kind of confident saying, well, yes, you know, if the Republicans in Congress begin to get really tough on Trump, say, what’s going on here. We really bothered by this. This is a hostile foreign…

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