Saturday, May 27, 2017
Most of the major news came from abroad this week, as Donald Trump made his first foreign trip as president and England suffered the deadliest terror attack on its soil since 2005.
The radical Islamic State group (ISIS) took credit for the slaughter of innocents earlier this week at a concert in Manchester, England, and 69% of U.S. voters say that ISIS must be completely destroyed to end its terrorist attacks. Eighty-seven percent (87%) consider ISIS a serious threat to the United States, but just 40% see a need for the United States to formally declare war on the radical organization.
Even prior to the Manchester attack, 53% of Americans said the United States and the international community should do more to help Europe win its war with radical Islamic terrorism.
Most Americans think it’s likely a terrorist attack comparable to the Manchester bombing will happen in the United States, but they're not afraid to attend big events.
Just before the Manchester bombing, President Trump made a speech in Saudi Arabia calling for the Muslim-majority world to lead the fight against terrorism. Seventy percent (70%) say the Saudis have not been aggressive enough in fighting terrorism, and just 21% consider Saudi Arabia to be an ally of the United States. Most voters see it as somewhere in between an ally and an enemy.
Trump’s remarks in Saudi Arabia are the topic of this week’s Rasmussen Minute.
President Trump followed up his Saudi Arabian stop with a visit to Israel, and voters tend to think the U.S. relationship with Israel is more important to stability in the Middle East than the relationship with Saudi Arabia is.
The next stop for the president was the Vatican, where he and his family met with Pope Francis. While the meeting was met with mixed emotions, voters still generally believe the United States has a friend in the pope.
Trump then headed to Brussels for the NATO summit, and support for the organization is up as voters continue to see a need for the alliance more than 60 years after it was formed.
It’s no secret that the president has had a troubled relationship with most traditional media outlets, and 54% of voters think he is more to blame for that tension. Forty-one percent (41%) think the media is more to blame. Just 29% think it’s possible for Trump to mend his relationship with his media opponents.
President Trump's recent decision to fire FBI Director James Comey sparked a media firestorm, but voters are divided as to whether questions about the move are genuine or political in nature.
In other surveys last week:
-- Thirty-four percent (34%) think the country is heading in the right direction for the week ending May 18.
-- Former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner has pleaded guilty to texting sexually explicit material to an underage girl, and voters strongly believe he should be put in prison for it.
-- Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing classified government documents to the website WikiLeaks, was released from prison earlier this month after President Obama commuted her sentence as one of his final presidential actions. But few voters view Manning favorably and most disagree with Obama’s parting decision.
-- In the wake of the international WannaCry cyberattacks last week, Americans are more concerned than ever about the safety of the country’s online economic systems.
-- President Trump campaigned on the promise to "Make America Great Again" but voters tend to think he's more concerned with what's best for himself rather than the country. Voters are more likely to say his predecessor put the country first.
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