January 12, 2020
Most Americans Disapprove Of Donald Trump's Handling Of Iran, Says Poll

An ABC News/Ipsos survey conducted on Friday and Saturday reveals that 56 percent of respondents said they disapprove of Donald Trump's handling of Iran. In addition, 52 percent said the military airstrike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani has made the United States less safe overall, according to Newsweek.

The results are reportedly aligned with similar polls conducted by other media outlets, including a USA Today and Ipsos survey that found that 55 percent of Americans believe Soleimani's assassination has decreased safety in America. Another poll by Reuters and Ipsos revealed that 53 percent of Americans disapproved of Trump's approach to tensions with Iran.

"Overall attitudes about Trump and the consequences of his actions against Iran largely were driven by Independents, a critical target for both parties in electoral politics," ABC News reported. "The poll showed a majority of Independents, 57%, and all U.S. adults, 56%, disapproving of Trump's handling of the situation with Iran, with 43% of both Independents and U.S. adults approving."

With regards to concerns about a "full-scale war" with Iran, 94 percent of Democrats are very concerned or somewhat concerned, compared to just 52 percent of Republicans. Conversely, 6 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Republicans said they were not so concerned or not concerned at all.

The Soleimani attack is controversial not just among the American public but within Congress as well. Democratic lawmakers — as well as some Republicans — criticized the lack of transparency around the mission. Many noted the intelligence briefing that was held following the assassination and the lack of intelligence provided within it. Critics believe that Trump's move has heightened tensions with Iran and pushed the U.S. closer to war with the country, with some arguing that war has already begun — at least in some form.

Republican Rep. Thomas Massie voted in support of the recently passed non-binding War Powers measure that would require Trump to gain authorization from Congress before taking any further military action against Iran.

"This vote is about exercising our constitutional authority, but more importantly, our moral obligation to decide when and where our troops are going to be asked to give their lives," Massie said, noting that war must have the "blessing" and "support" of American citizens as well as a "clear mission" for soldiers to "accomplish."

Others are more critical of Trump. Independent Justin Amash — who voted for the War Powers resolution along with fellow libertarian-leaning congressman Massie — claims that the president's authorization to kill Soleimani is tantamount to abuse of power. He noted that non-defensive military action requires approval from Congress — per the Constitution — unless there is "imminence," which the Trump campaign has struggled to prove.