Donald Trump’s support among members of the military – a group that has historically supported Republicans by large margins – is plummeting following his disastrous response to the ambush in Niger, which killed four heroic servicemen.
According to a new Military Times poll, Trump’s favorable rating among U.S. troops stands at 44 percent, barely above his dismal 39 percent approval rating among the general public and well below the usual level of support a GOP president typically sees.
The number is also well short of the percentage of service members that supported Trump during the campaign last year. According to exit polling, Trump received 60 percent support from those who served in the military – more than 15 points higher than those in the military who now view the commander-in-chief positively.
Another key finding in the poll that doesn’t bode well for Trump: A majority of U.S. troops see “white nationalism” as a threat to America’s national security.
A majority of troops say White Nationalism is a national security threat. They say it’s more dangerous than Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan. 2/ pic.twitter.com/GhPGzHyAO8
— Vets Against Trump (@commondefense) October 23, 2017
The worry among members of the military that white supremacists are a growing threat follows months of Trump refusing to swiftly and strongly condemn KKK-aligned hate groups, even after the events in Charlottesville this summer.
The survey, which polled 1,110 active-duty members of the military, was taken in September, but its release comes as the Trump administration continues to bungle its response to the attack in Niger.
Just today, in fact, the president took to Twitter to claim that the Gold Star widow of fallen Sgt. La David Johnson isn’t being truthful in her account of the phone call she received from Trump.
Not only did Myeshia Johnson confirm that Trump did, indeed, say that her husband “knew what he signed up for” before he was killed in the ambush in Niger, but she also said that the commander-in-chief couldn’t even recall Sgt. Johnson’s name.
“I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name, and that’s what hurt me the most,” she said. “If my husband is out there fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?”
Trump quickly pushed back against the grieving widow, saying in a tweet that, during the call, he “spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”
While the military is clearly still split on its opinion of the commander-in-chief, Trump’s blatant disrespect for U.S. troops in recent days – particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, like Sgt. La David Johnson – isn’t likely to improve his support among a group that is typically a GOP stronghold.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.