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Trump and Putin in Helsinki. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

The percentage of Russians who are confident President Trump will "do the right thing regarding world affairs" plummeted over the last year from 53% to 19%, according to Pew's annual Global Attitudes survey.

By the numbers: Trump's campaign push for warmer ties with Moscow clearly broke through, with 41% of Russians viewing the U.S. favorably in the months after he took office — up from 15% at the end of Barack Obama's tenure. That number has now fallen to 26%.

  • Alina Polyakova of the Brookings Institution notes that last year's survey was taken at a time when there were real hopes of detente in Russia. What has followed has been a "much more hawkish Russia policy than I think the Russians expected to see."
  • Russia's state-controlled media has changed its tone on Trump accordingly, she notes. He's mentioned less often and less positively. "The tone now is nothing negative about Trump, but he's seen as hampered or boxed in by the bureaucracy," she says. The government and media also like to depict Washington as "a mess" to make Vladimir Putin "appear like a professional manager by contrast."

The bigger picture: Across the 25 countries sampled, 70% lack confidence in Trump, on average. Views of the U.S. remain narrowly positive, though, with 50% approving and 43% disapproving. In some key allied countries, meanwhile, we're sinking further into uncharted territory ...

  • Just 30% in Germany and 38% in France view the U.S. favorably, down from 35% and 46% last year and 57% and 63% in 2016, respectively.
  • Views of the U.S. have tumbled in Canada (39% favorable) and in Mexico (32% favorable), where Trump's approval rating is just 6%. That's a big change: Majorities in both countries viewed the U.S. favorably throughout the Bush and Obama presidencies.
  • The flipside: Views of the U.S. rebounded in South Korea and Japan over the past year, back to levels similar to those seen under Obama. Confidence in Trump has also ticked up in both countries.

What to watch:

  • Across the 25 countries surveyed, including among many close U.S. allies, there is more confidence that Chinese President Xi Jinping will "do the right thing" than Trump will. Several European countries even view China more favorably than the U.S.
  • But when asked whether it would be better for the world to have the U.S. or China as the leading power, big majorities in nearly every country sampled picked the U.S.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”