The fallout continues after President Trump’s response to deadly protests in Charlottesville sparked a national debate over where to place blame, and a new poll shows Trump’s words may have influenced American opinion.
According to the latest Fox News poll, a majority of American voters believe Trump views the media in a worse light than white supremacists. The poll — which was conducted August 27-29 — shows that 70 percent of respondents believe the president dislikes the news media more than white supremacists, where 13 percent of those surveyed think Trump has a greater dislike for white supremacists.
RELATED: A look back at Charlottesville
The president’s views — and those of his inner circle — on the mainstream media are anything but a secret. Trump has routinely taken to Twitter to ridicule the news media — going as far as to refer to them as “the opposition party,” and featuring them as “enemies” in a recent campaign ad. Since he assumed office in January, Trump has tweeted the phrase “fake news” alone some 45 times.
Despite Trump’s obvious views on media bias, the new poll findings suggest a majority of American voters believe Trump thinks more highly of white supremacists — who the Associated Press defines as believing that whites are superior to justify political, economic and social suppression of nonwhite people and other minority groups — than of the American free press.
After the “Unite the Right” rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, President Trump left himself open to praise from “alt-right” activists and criticism from lawmakers, business leaders and political pundits alike when he said there were “two sides” to the violence. Trump did at one point verbally condemned racism and white supremacists while reading from prepared remarks, but then circled back to a “two sides” argument while answering a press question.
The Fox News poll also shows that 56 percent of voters say they believe President Trump is “tearing the country apart” instead of drawing people together.
With Trump’s overall approval ratings relatively flat in the last weeks of August — currently at 35 percent with Gallup and 41 percent with Rasmussen — the commander in chief is in a position to boost his numbers as he faces mounting pressure both foreign and domestic. With the death toll still rising, Hurricane Harvey has led to widespread devastation across Texas and Louisiana as tens of thousands are forced to leave their homes. Harvey will serve as Trump’s…