We all know that most of the world’s leaders hate Trump. Trump’s embarrassing interactions with them make the news regularly. But what does the public think?
A new Pew Research Center study tells the answer, comparing 37 countries’ views on Trump vs. Obama. In a typical country, only 22% of people trust Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared to 64% who trusted Obama near the end of his presidency. In 35 of the 37 countries, trust in Trump was lower than in Obama.
The other two countries aren’t surprising. Israelis trust Trump slightly more. But there was only one country where Trump enjoyed a double-digit boost in trust over his predecessor. Yes, it’s the same country that meddled in the election: Russia.
A whopping 53% of Russians trust Trump, compared to only 11% who trusted Obama.
Outside of Russia, this crisis of trust is destroying the world’s view of the United States. In the nations surveyed, only 49% of people had a positive view of America. That’s down from 64% near the end of Obama’s presidency. And no wonder: the world has more trust in Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to do right than in Trump. The titular leader of the free world is less trusted than a Russian autocrat or the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.
So far, Republicans seem to be turning a blind eye to Trump’s disastrous presidency. Recent polls put his approval rating among Americans around 40%. Will Americans catch up with the rest of the world, cutting that number in half?