Trump popular in Brooklyn's Russian-speaking community

- Brighton Beach in southern Brooklyn has one of New York's, and the country's, highest concentrations of Russian-speaking Americans. With the Russia investigation, Russia sanctions, and Russia news stories coming out all the time, Fox 5 wanted to find out what people think of President Donald Trump and the relationship he recently described as being at an all-time and dangerous low.

"The community voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. Our estimates are 80 percent and higher in some areas," said Dr. Igor Branovan, a physician in Brighton Beach and the president of the American Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry, a nonprofit that publishes two Russian-language newspapers.

Branovan said that part of the reason Trump attracted so much support in the Russian-speaking community is because the strongman persona he campaigned on is something they can relate to.

"When you see Putin, bare-chested, running after bears," Branovan said. "So the reason it is shown is because KGB, and he is product of that, knows very well what sells." [Note: The KGB is now known as the FSB.]

While parts of the community have a negative impression of overall Russian relations, the large majority take a more pragmatic view to the recent tensions between Washington and Moscow.

"The community probably sees that more as the great game that we have in the current times," Branovan said. "Superpowers and budding superpowers are spying on each other as much as they can."

And part of that great game is the Russian government interference of the 2016 election. Branovan is convinced the Russians did it. 

"Clearly there were games involved," he said. "Clearly there was interference."

But not everyone in the community is so sure.

Russians around Brighton Beach and the famous boardwalk told us they like the president and that hacking may or may not be a hoax.

"I don't think that Russia is interfering," a resident named Anna said. "My personal opinion it's a lie."

Even though relations between the two countries may be at an all-time low, relations between the two peoples aren't there yet.

"I've made jokes at the parties that I'm not here to steal your sensitive data," Branovan said. "But so far people haven't done more than laugh."

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