56 Percent of Americans Disapprove of President Trump's Handling of Iran, Poll Says

A majority of American's are unhappy with President Donald Trump's handling of the situation with Iran, and believe his actions as commander-in-chief have made the U.S. less safe, according to a new poll released Sunday.

The ABC News/Ipsos survey was conducted on Friday and Saturday, and aligns closely with the results shown by previous polls conducted by other media outlets. In the latest poll, 56 percent of respondents told ABC and Ipso that they disapproved of Trump's handling of Iran policy, while 52 percent said that the president's decision to carry out a military airstrike to kill Iran's military commander Qassem Soleimani has made the U.S. less safe overall.

Soleimani was killed on January 3 in a U.S. drone strike targeting his vehicle after he arrived in Iraq. An Iraqi military leader and eight others were also killed in the attack. Democratic lawmakers, and some Republicans, have criticized the president's decision, which was carried out without informing congressional leaders. Critics argue that Trump's decision has pushed the U.S. closer to war with Iran and was an illegal assasination under international law.

No War With Iran
Anti-war activists protest in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on January 4 ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty

Trump and his administration argue that Soleimani was planning "imminent" attacks on the U.S., with the president saying that regional U.S. embassies were going to be targeted. However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also said that he did not know exactly where or when the attacks would occur, which critics have argued shows that the threat was not actually "imminent." Unidentified government sources also told The New York Times that the intelligence used to justify the attack was "razor thin."

"Pompeo: The attack was imminent, but 'we didn't know when and we didn't know where.' Well, if you don't know when and if you don't know where, that is not 'imminent,'" Democratic presidential candidate Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a veteran of the Iraq War, tweeted on Sunday, criticizing the secretary of state.

Similar to the ABC/Ipsos poll, a survey conducted by USA Today and Ipsos found that 55 percent of Americans believe the killing of Soleimani made the U.S. less safe. Additionally, a poll by Reuters and Ipsos found that 53 percent of Americans disapproved of Trump's handling of tensions with Iran.

A large majority – 71 percent – of respondents to a Reuters/Ipsos poll also believed that it was very or somewhat likely that the U.S. and Iran would be at war within a few years. That was a full 20 percentage points higher than when Americans were asked about Iran tensions in May of last year.

Democrats, independents and some Republicans in Congress have come together in an effort to restrain the president's power to carry out acts of war against Iran. A War Powers measure passed in the House of Representatives last week, with most Democrats voting in favor, along with three Republicans and the legislative chamber's lone independent.

This House Republican voted to stop Trump from illegally taking us to war with Iran.

Standing up for the Constitution is not a partisan issue. Congress must always vote on whether to send our young men and women to war. pic.twitter.com/3FGIw0ks8f

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 12, 2020

"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," GOP Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky said ahead of the successful vote, voicing his support for the resolution.

"If we go to war, it needs to be with the blessing and the support of the people and a clear mission that our soldiers can accomplish," Massie added. "We do that by following the vision of our founding fathers — we debate it on the floor of the House."

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, is sponsoring similar legislation in the Senate – the No War Against Iran Act – in partnership with Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Lee, along with GOP Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, has strongly criticized the administration's decision to take out Soleimani.

After a briefing from intelligence and administration officials about the decision to kill Soleimani to Congress last week, Lee voiced his plans to vote with Democrats in support of limiting Trump's war powers. He said that the briefing was "insulting" and "demeaning to the process ordained by the Constitution."