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Trump’s response to white supremacist violence not enough: Poll

IANS | Washington |

Most Americans think President Donald Trumps response to the white supremacist rally that turned violent at Charlottesville in Virginia was not strong enough, a new poll has revealed.

Fifty-two per cent of people surveyed said Trump’s response was insufficient while 27 per cent said his reaction was strong enough and 21 per cent were unsure, the Marist poll said on Wednesday.

The gathering of white supremacists and neo-Nazis on August 12 turned deadly when a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19.

The President’s initial response, in which he condemned violence on “many sides”, was widely panned as inadequate because he failed to call out white supremacists directly. So he followed up with a statement Monday doing so.

But he prompted another firestorm of criticism on Tuesday when he again blamed “both sides” and suggested that the white supremacist protesters included some “very fine people”.

Approval of the President’s response varied significantly along partisan lines. Just 10 per cent of Democrats said Trump responded to the episode strongly enough while 79 per cent said he did not.

Fifty-nine per cent of Republicans said the President’s response was strong enough and 19 per cent said it was insufficient, the poll showed.

Among independents, 52 per cent said Trump’s response was not strong enough and 30 per cent said it was, Politico news reported.

Thirty-one per cent of white respondents said Trump reacted strongly enough while 46 per cent said he did not. Seventy-seven per cent of African-Americans surveyed said Trump’s response was inadequate, compared with 13 per cent who said it was enough.

The poll’s sample size was 1,125 people, who were surveyed by landline and cellphone on Monday and Tuesday.