Most Americans feel less safe after President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this month to assassinate an Iranian generally widely regarded as the number two official in that nation.
Only 43 percent of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the present situation with Iran, with 56 percent voicing disapproval, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted over the weekend.
The poll is notable because it was taken after Iran launched missiles toward U.S. military bases in Iraq early last week.
On whether the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani made us safer or not, the consensus within the poll is that most Americans believe it did not. Only a quarter of respondents said that the strike made America safer, with 52 percent saying it did not. Another 22 percent said it didn’t sway things one way or another, in terms of safety.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given the answer to the last question, nearly three-quarters of Americans (73 percent) say they are concerned or very concerned about the possibility of war breaking out between the two countries.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 12, 2020
The wariness of how Trump is handling things with Iran comes about as the administration struggles to get its story straight on the justifications for killing Soleimani. White House officials, including the president himself, have said that the order to kill the general came about due to an imminent threat, but just how impending the supposed threat was is anyone’s guess, based on how different officials have answered questions from reporters.
At times, the imminent threat appears to be based on past actions of Soleimani’s rather than a specified plan he had in the works.
There have been other inconsistencies. Trump implied last week that there were indeed plans to attack four U.S. embassies in the region, but his own Defense Secretary Mark Esper over the weekend said he “didn’t see” any direct evidence of such an attack set to happen.