Under normal circumstances, most Americans don’t pay much attention to foreign policy unless the country is engaged in a major war or experiencing high-profile terrorist attacks. Though neither is occurring now, these are anything but normal times. With just hours until Donald Trump assumes the U.S. presidency after the most unusual presidential election in living memory, Americans are breaking with tradition and giving foreign policy a prominent place on the list of national concerns.
Americans, it turns out, are watching with great interest to see how exactly the Trump administration manages bilateral ties with Russia and how Trump deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A poll taken just a few days ago by CNN/ORC found that 8 out of 10 Americans say they are following news about Russia’s attempts to influence the U.S. election. This is not a positive development for the incoming president, particularly because this and other polls show deep distrust of Moscow and Putin.
Trump has little to gain and much to lose if his Russia-related decisions, which are now under the microscope, are viewed as objectionable by a significant portion of the public.