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A majority of Americans believes that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has found.
That finding shows substantial public acceptance of the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion about the hacking of Democratic Party computers. President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office Friday, has only grudgingly accepted that finding while accusing intelligence officials of leaking unflattering information about him.
The survey showed that 51 percent think Russia interfered with last fall's campaign, while 36 percent said it did not. Some 13 percent weren't sure.
Trump has asserted that the hacking made no difference in the outcome of the election — a subject that intelligence officials did not try to assess. The poll shows the public has no consensus on that point: 36 percent say it affected the outcome, and 26 percent say it tilted the results from Hillary Clinton to Trump. But 74 percent said either that it did not tip the balance or that they aren't sure.
Trump's critics in both parties have questioned whether the president-elect's oft-stated desire for closer relations with Russia signals too friendly an attitude toward the historic U.S. adversary and its president, Vladimir Putin. American opinion splits on that issue, too.
One-third of Americans call Trump's relationship with Putin inappropriately friendly, while 24 percent say the two men are not too friendly. A 41 percent plurality has no opinion.
The telephone survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Jan 12-15. It carries a margin for error of 3.1 percentage points.