Trump has lowest six-month approval rating of any president in 70 years

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Trump takes to Twitter to blast ABC/Washington Post poll as 'just about the most inaccurate poll around election time'

US President Donald Trump (AFP/file photo)
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Monday 17 July 2017 8:36 UTC
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American support for President Donald Trump has hit a historic record low six months after he assumed office, according to a poll released on Sunday.

Just 36 percent of Americans approve of the job the president has been doing since taking office in January, the ABC News/Washington Post poll finds.

The number is down from 42 percent in April, while his disapproval numbers have risen 5 points to 58 percent.

Trump, who took to Twitter to blast the ABC/Washington Post poll as "just about the most inaccurate poll around election time," now boasts the lowest approval ratings of any American president during his first half-year in the past 70 years.

Both former presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush were at 59 percent at the end of their first six months in office, Politico noted.

The only other president whose approval ratings were almost as bad six months into his tenure was Gerald Ford, who stood at 39 percent in February 1975, Newsweek said.

Public perceptions of Russia's role in last year's presidential contest and ongoing Republican troubles in reforming health care have dogged Trump's numbers.

About 60 percent of those polled said it was inappropriate for Trump's son to have met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign, and about the same number say they think Russia attempted to steer the outcome of the election.

Both former presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush were at 59 percent at the end of their first six months in office

Almost 70 percent of those who thought Russia interfered, say they think Trump's aides attempted to collude with Russia.

Of those polled, Newsweek said, 66 percent said they did not trust Trump to effectively represent US interests in negotiations with foreign leaders, with two-thirds also saying they did not trust him to do so with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The poll also found that 48 percent of the country thinks America is weaker since Trump took power in January, with only 27 percent believing it to be stronger, Newsweek said.

And as Trump seeks to lead the Republican Party in developing a replacement for former President Barack Obama's signature health care law, poll respondents said by about 2-1 they prefer Obamacare to the Republican proposal.

Still, America is roughly evenly divided, 43-41 percent, on Trump's handling of the economy.

The poll, conducted July 10-13, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.