A new poll released Wednesday found more than two thirds of Republican respondents didn’t have a problem with former President Donald Trump asking Russian President Vladimir Putin for disparaging information about Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, despite numerous GOP officials saying the comments were inappropriate.
Trump said in an interview with right-wing commentator John Solomon last week that Putin should release information about the dubious claim that Hunter Biden received $3.5 million in 2014 from the wife of a former Moscow mayor.
Biden has denied the allegation, which surfaced as part of a partisan investigation Senate Republicans carried out before the 2020 election.
Despite the U.S. labeling Putin a “war criminal” for ordering the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, some 68% of Republicans said in a Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday that it was okay for Trump to make the request.
Only 33% of independents and 18% of Democrats found Trump’s request acceptable, according to the poll.
Overall, 40% of all voters found the comments appropriate, while 46% did not.
The Morning Consult/Politico poll surveyed 2,003 registered voters from April 1 to April 4.
“She gave him $3.5 million, so now I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it,” Trump said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), long a close Trump ally, has called for Putin to be killed and responded to news of Trump’s comments by saying: “I don’t think we should be asking Putin to do anything.” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had a similar assessment, calling Putin “one of the worst people on the planet.”
A Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday found 92% of Republican respondents hold an unfavorable view of Russia, including 67% with a “very unfavorable” opinion.
Trump’s recent lavish praise for Putin, such as calling him “very savvy” and labeling Russia’s move to recognize pro-Kremlin breakaway states in Ukraine “genius,” have roiled many top Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) distanced himself from Trump last month, telling reporters he didn’t find Putin to be “savvy or genius,” calling the Russian leader “evil.” Trump’s request to Putin follows a pattern of asking for dirt to hurt his political opponents. As the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, Trump notably appealed for Putin to release personal emails belonging to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. A U.S. intelligence report released last year determined that Russia acted to help Trump in the 2020 presidential election, but did not alter any votes.
What To Watch For
Biden fils is under a federal criminal investigation reviewing his “tax affairs” and financial records, but has not yet been charged with a crime. The New York Times reported last month Biden had paid a “significant tax liability,” but a grand jury was continuing to review his business dealings.