U.S.

Americans Don’t Trust Trump to Keep the U.S. Safe From North Korea: Poll

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President Donald Trump arrives to board Air Force One for travel to New Jersey from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on August 4. Trump has often taken to Twitter to criticize China and North Korea, a likely factor in a lack of trust among Americans who worry about his ability to handle the Korean threat. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump’s trustworthiness, at least when it comes to how he’s handling the threat of North Korea’s missile and nuclear defense programs, now mirrors his poor approval ratings, according to a CBS News poll released Tuesday.

As many of his approval numbers fall into the cellar, 61 percent of respondents stated they were “uneasy” about the president’s ability to thwart the advancements and threats made by Kim Jong Un’s regime, compared with 35 percent expressing confidence in Trump.

Much like his approval ratings, the CBS News poll drew a firm partisan line. Seventy-six percent of Republicans were confident in Trump, while 22 percent were uneasy. Democrats were far more uneasy, at 87 percent, compared with 10 percent who expressed confidence in the president.

Independents fell far more in line with the uneasy category, at 64 percent, with 31 percent saying they were confident.

The results come after the U.N. Security Council on Saturday voted unanimously to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July. The sanctions could result in Kim’s authoritarian government, which relies on the exporting of coal, iron and other raw materials, losing $1 billion.

The vote was a huge diplomatic step in terms of avoiding a military conflict, which many have estimated would result in hundreds of thousands of people being killed, particularly in South Korea.

On the other hand, Trump’s rhetoric toward the North and Kim hasn’t come off as anything close to diplomatic, and his use of Twitter to conduct matters of foreign policy has been criticized often. On July 3, Trump tweeted: “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”

Trump’s also repeatedly used his Twitter account to blast China, the North’s sole ally, and thus a key player hoping to avoid a conflict that could flood its borders with refugees.

On July 29, Trump said that China does “NOTHING” when it comes to the North and said it could “easily solve this problem!”

Americans’ lack of faith in Trump’s ability to work out a peaceful resolution with North Korea appears to reflect his dismal approval ratings. His approval rating after 200 days in office sits at 38 percent, with 56 percent disapproving, according to a CNN poll released Tuesday. That represented a 6-point drop since April, when CNN found a 44 percent approval rating.

Furthermore, Republicans are leaving their president in droves. In February, Trump had a 73 percent approval rating among GOP members, and it’s since nosedived to 59 percent, CNN’s poll showed.

The poll, conducted from August 3 to 6 and drawn from 1,111 adults around the country, also indicated that a majority of Americans believe that North Korea’s nuclear weapons proliferation can be contained but are also uneasy about a potential conflict. Sixty percent believed the situation could be contained, while 29 percent said military action is required, and 7 percent didn’t believe it is a threat.

Similarly, 72 percent were “uneasy” about a possible conflict, and 26 percent were confident the issue could be resolved.

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