- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Fewer than one-in-five Americans feel that President Trump personally opposes white nationalism, new polling revealed Tuesday.

Nineteen percent of nearly 1,000 adults surveyed about white nationalism answered that they believe Mr. Trump personally opposes the ideology, compared to 39 percent who think he actually supports it, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll.

One-in-five respondents said they were unsure how Mr. Trump privately feels about white nationalism, and roughly the same proposition told pollsters that they believe he lacks a stance on the subject, the results revealed.

The question was among dozens asked during an online survey of 995 adults conducted last Friday and Saturday on the heels of a terroristic shooting spree at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Police have arrested and charged a suspect, a 28-year-old Australian man, who is believed to have written a racist manifesto rife with white nationalist ideologies shared online prior to the massacre.

Addressing the attacks hours afterward, Mr. Trump discounted the threat posed by white nationalists and described them as “a small group of people,” spurring criticism and calls to explicitly denounce white supremacist, white nationalist, anti-Muslim bigotry.

“The president is not a white supremacist,” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday. “I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”

Among the 995 people surveyed, 51 percent described the threat posed by white nationalism as either somewhat serious or very serious. Thirty-two percent, meanwhile, described the threat as either not very serious or nonexistent.

White supremacist extremist poses a “persist threat of lethal violence,” the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned in a joint bulletin issued in May 2017. White supremacists subsequently attended “Unite the Right,” a rally held three months later in Charlottesville, Virginia, that quickly turned violent and ultimately culminated in a participant murdering a counterprotester.

“I think there is blame on both sides,” Mr. Trump infamously said afterward. “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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