'More Americans think Donald Trump supports white nationalism than think he opposes it'

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More Americans believe Donald Trump supports white nationalism than opposes it, according to a new poll.

The Yougov/Huffington Post survey found 22 per cent of respondents believed the US president was against white nationalist ideology, while 31 per cent thought he backed it.

24 per cent felt Mr Trump had no strong stance on the subject, while a further 24 per cent were not sure.

Nearly half of the respondents – 48 per cent – said Mr Trump had not done enough to condemn white nationalist groups in the wake of the disastrous Charlottesville rally where 32-year-old anti-fascist campaigner Heather Heyer was mown down and killed.

Only 30 per cent thought he had sufficiently responded to the alleged attack.

Killed: Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal

The poll was carried out shortly after the US president made a third round of comments about the Charlottesville tragedy, in which he appeared to backtrack on a previous condemnation of the white supremacist groups who gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

Mr Trump said on Tuesday: “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent.” 

The suspect in the alleged attack, 20-year-old James Field, was pictured earlier in the day carrying a shield bearing the logo of the openly fascist organisation Vanguard America.

Vanguard has sought to distance itself from Mr Field, releasing a statement to say he was not a member.

The rally that gathered to protest the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee was said to be one of the largest white nationalist demonstrations to have taken place in decades.

According to witness testimony, there were several violent clashes between neo-Nazi groups and an anti-fascist counter-protest before a sports car approached slowly at first before accelerating into a crowd of leftist activists.

“Just a few feet in front of protesters, the vehicle accelerated suddenly, plowing into at least a dozen people in a gut-wrenching crash, sending bodies, shoes and personal belongings flying through the air,” said LA Times correspondent Robert Armengol, who was there at the time.

The Yougov/Huffpo poll found that 63 per cent of respondents thought the alleged attack was an act of terrorism, a term Mr Trump has not committed to in his references to the incident.

“You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want,” he said on Tuesday.

68 per cent of respondents meanwhile said they thought the tragedy represented a wider problem in American society rather than being an isolated incident.

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