With Trump & Putin set for first phone call, exclusive new poll finds 71% of Americans see Russia as “clear and present danger” to US & NATO. (My column for TownHall.com, with the poll results.)

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HOW AMERICANS SEE PUTIN

By Joel C. Rosenberg, a column published by TownHall.com, January 27, 2017

During the campaign, candidate Donald J. Trump rightly warned that America’s friends “are beginning to think they can’t depend on us” while “our rivals no longer respect us … [and] think they can get away with anything.”

In his inaugural speech, President Trump wisely vowed to “reinforce old alliances and form new ones” in light of current and emerging threats.

Trump is moving quickly to keep this promise. On Friday, he will welcome the first foreign leader to the White House: British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Among the topics the two plan to discuss: how to strengthen the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K., and strengthen the NATO alliance amidst current and emerging threats. Among their most serious challenges will be dealing with the increasing aggressiveness of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

[UPDATE: Presidents Trump and Putin are reportedly set for their first phone call on Saturday.]

Unfortunately, in the U.S., the subject of Putin has become the subject of bitter partisan wrangling, especially after allegations that Moscow tried to interfere in the American elections. But Russia should not be treated like a political wedge issue. The stakes are far too high, and Americans of both major parties are deeply concerned by the growing challenge posed by the Kremlin.

Consider the results of an exclusive new survey conducted by John McLaughlin, the respected American pollster. At my request, John and his team asked 1,000 American voters two questions concerning their views of Russia.

First: “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? In light of Russia’s invasion and seizure of Crimea in southern Ukraine, Russia’s invasion of the country of Georgia, Russia fighting alongside Iran to defend dictator Bashar Assad in Syria, Russia’s continuing sales of arms and nuclear technology to Iran, and reports of Russian hacking of American computer networks, I have come to believe that Vladimir Putin and the government of Russia pose a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States, our NATO allies in Europe, and our Mideast allies, such as Israel.”

The results were overwhelmingly bipartisan. A stunning 71 percent of Americans said they believe Putin and Russia pose “a clear and present danger” to our security and that of our allies. Only 14 percent disagreed. The rest said they did not know.

The second question….

[To read the full column I wrote for TownHall.com — including more details from the exclusive poll we commissioned — please click here.]

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[This column is based on my personal beliefs and opinions. I share them in my personal capacity as a dual US-Israeli citizen and an author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Joshua Fund, which is a non-profit organization and takes no political or legislative positions.]

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