Though sharply split across partisan lines, 55 percent of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. that turned deadly last weekend, a new CBS News poll finds.
Just over two-thirds of Republicans said they approve of Trump’s response to the attack, where a car rammed into a crowd of counter protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
The poll, conducted through and after Trump defended Tuesday his initial failure to specifically denounce neo-Nazi groups for their role in the attack, found rising disapproval of the president’s response.
Fifty-three percent of independents disapprove of the president’s response, while 32 percent approve. Among Democrats, 82 percent disapprove of the response.
Views on the president’s handling of the situation are closely linked to his description of the events. A majority of Republicans — 68 percent — say Trump’s description of the events was accurate, while a majority of Democrats and independents say it was not accurate.
“Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at [indiscernible] – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right?” Trump said in a news conference on Tuesday at Trump Tower. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”
Trump’s description of the events seemingly undid a statement he said a day earlier in an attempt to quell the widespread criticism he has received from lawmakers regarding his response to the Charlottesville attacks.
Across the board, a majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents say the believe the attacks to be an act of domestic terrorism.
The CBS News poll was conducted by telephone Aug. 14 through Aug. 16, among a sample of 1,223 adults nationwide.