Nearly half of veterans say Trump doesn't listen to military leaders enough

Nearly half of veterans say Trump doesn't listen to military leaders enough
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Just under half of U.S. veterans say President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE does not listen to military leaders enough in making national security decisions, according to a new Pew Research Center study published Wednesday. 

Forty-five percent of veterans surveyed said the president does not listen enough to top Pentagon officials when he has to make decisions about national security, and roughly 40 percent do not trust him much in making the right decision about the use of military force, including 26 percent who say they do not trust the president at all.

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Despite questions over the president’s judgement, veterans are largely supportive of Trump, with 57 percent saying they approve of the way he handles his duties as commander in chief and 48 percent saying his administration’s policies have made the military stronger.

The president’s approval among veterans in the poll, just as among the general population, is starkly divided along partisan lines. Ninety-two percent of veterans who identified as Republican or who lean toward the Republican Party approved of Trump as commander in chief, while just 6 percent of veterans who identified as Democrats or lean Democratic said the same.

However, veterans in the poll were more likely than the general population to support the White House’s efforts on Russia, North Korea and Iran, three foreign policy hotspots that have engulfed the administration in controversy.

Fifty-four percent of veterans approve of Trump’s dealing with Russia, while only 39 percent of the general population agrees. Sixty percent of veterans approve of Trump’s handling of North Korea’s nuclear program, yet 44 percent of the general population says the same. And 53 percent of veterans approve of Trump’s 2018 decision to pull out of the Obama-era nuclear pact with Iran while only 40 percent of the general population approves of the withdrawal. 

Trump has often touted support among the military, referring to “my generals,” and veterans.

“So I raised/gave $5,600,000 for the veterans and the media makes me look bad! They do anything to belittle - totally biased,” Trump tweeted during the 2016 campaign after making donations to veterans groups. 

Veterans are more likely than the general population to say Trump respects the military, with 48 percent of veterans polled saying the president respects the armed forces a great deal, compared with 30 percent of all Americans.

The Pew study surveyed 1,284 veterans from May 14-June 3 and 1,087 adults from May 14-24. It has a margin of error of 3.9 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.