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Less than half of Americans trust Trump to handle a conflict: poll

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As the US is locked in a military confrontation with Iran, more than half of Americans and a fifth of self-identified conservatives lack confidence in President Donald Trump‘s ability to handle an international crisis, according to a recent INSIDER poll.

Tensions have been escalating between the US and Iran in recent weeks amid multiple oil tankers attacks in the Persian Gulf which the US has pinned on Iran.

The tensions between the two countries peaked last week when Trump ordered a strike on Iran after the country’s military downed a US Navy drone, only to call it off at the very last minute.

Read more: Iran downed a $130 million US drone. Trump’s sanctions are probably costing Iran $120 million a day.

In the latest version of INSIDER’s recurring SurveyMonkey Audience poll, we asked respondents: “In the event of an international crisis or conflict, how confident are you that President Trump would handle the situation well?”

  • Among all Americans, 35% said they were not at all confident, 19% said they were not so confident, and 18% said they were somewhat confident in Trump’s ability to handle a crisis.
  • Just 13% said they were “very confident” and 14% said they were “extremely confident” in Trump’s ability to handle a crisis.
  • Over 18% of likely Republican primary or caucus voters said they did not have confidence in Trump’s ability to handle a crisis.
  • Over 21% of respondents who identified themselves as conservative lacked confidence in Trump’s ability to handle a crisis.

A conflict with Iran would be the biggest national security crisis of Trump’s presidency, and so far, he’s oscillated between threatening Iran and calling off airstrikes, while also adding to the heavy sanctions hurting Iran’s economy.

After cancelling a planned retaliatory strike Iran last week and opting for cyberattacks instead, Trump praised the country on Saturday and said he wanted to negotiate a new deal, telling reporters, “they’re going to be so happy, and I’m going to be their best friend. I hope that happens.”

But things took a drastic turn for the worse over the next few days after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran, specifically targeting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top military officials they cited as responsible for the downing of the drone.

While the US maintains their drone was in international airspace at the time of the downing, Iran argues the drone entered their airspace, and the downing was justified.

Read more: Iran is threatening to shoot down more American drones as the US turns up the pressure on Tehran with new sanctions

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani hit back at Trump in a Tuesday televised speech, calling the sanctions “outrageous and idiotic.”

“They are suffering from metal disability,” Rouhani said of Trump’s White House.

While Trump seems to be avoiding an all-out conflict with Iran so far, he slammed the country’s leadership in a series of blistering Tuesday tweets as new sanctions took effect.

“Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have. Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, adding, “any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.”

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,191 respondents collected June 21 to June 22, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.02 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

Read more:

Trump’s new Iran sanctions are part of a ‘high risk’ strategy that could lead a conflict he doesn’t want, experts warn

An Iranian general warns US war would have uncontrollable consequences in the Middle East

Trump’s most dovish advisers win out on Iran as the president replays the ‘maximum pressure strategy’ he used against North Korea

Iran says that US cyberattacks — said to be Trump’s preferred retaliation — didn’t work

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