Trump's approval rating shoots up after week of North Korea escalation

As tensions rise and explosive language flies between Trump and North Korea, the president has regained standing in his national approval rating.

According to the latest Rasmussen survey, 45 percent of Americans approve of President Trump -- the highest his rating has been in the same poll since July 12. His approval rating exactly one week ago stood at a staggeringly low 39 percent.

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Where 62 percent of Americans say North Korea poses a "very serious threat" to the U.S., President Trump's blunt rhetoric -- including phrases like "locked and loaded" and "fire and fury" -- the commander in chief's active messaging on North Korea could be aiding his favorability rating with the general public.

The Rasmussen poll, which has traditionally favored the president more than other comparable surveys, comes as other surveys spell bad news for the 45th president.

As Trump left the White House for a three-week retreat with his family in Bedminster, N.J., an AOL News poll showed 53 percent of respondents do not think the president should be taking a "working vacation." In his first week of working from New Jersey, the president has held multiple meetings on workforce initiatives and the national opioid crisis from Bedminster.

A recent CNN poll showed 59 percent of Americans say the Trump White House has been a failure, and another poll released last week revealed a majority of U.S. voters view President Trump as dishonest, lacking good leadership skills and failing to care for the American people.

As reports of internal conflict between White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, a brewing public offensive from Trump aimed at GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shines a light of instability on the Trump administration.

As for Trump's handling of the North Korea crisis, many military officials past and present have weighed in on the gravity of the conflict -- and retired Army Gen. James D. Thurman tells the New York Times he is worried about a "serious miscalculation."

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"We are playing right into Kim Jong-un's hands. That is what he wants," General Thurman said. "I really would want to tamp down this rhetoric, maintain armistice conditions, keep the force ready and not get the herd spooked."

Secretary of Defense James Mattis seemed to support Trump's use of empowered, definitive language on Thursday, saying the U.S. is "ready" to act in the face of any hostility from North Korea.

While Trump's latest six-point bump with Rasmussen is an increase, it is still not as high as his peak rating to date. The president's highest Rasmussen rating was 59 percent -- recorded one week into his White House tenure on Jan. 26.

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