Presidential historian: ‘There are an extraordinary number of people who will walk off a cliff’ if Trump tells them to

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Presidential historian Jon Meacham said Monday morning that “there are an extraordinary number of people who will walk off a cliff if [President] Trump says that’s what we should do” during a discussion on MSNBC about Republican support for the way Trump handles race relations. 

“Eight out of 10 Republicans put themselves in the position of agreeing with how Donald Trump handles race relations. How damning is that?” “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough ask Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian.

“My instinct would be this is a manifestation of this tribal commitment that we now have and so many people have to partisanship,” replied Meacham. “And there are an extraordinary number of people who will walk off a cliff if Trump says that’s what we should do. And what we have to hope for is that … the cliff is not too high and it’s not too imminent.”

{mosads}The perspective comes after a CBS News poll conducted by YouGov on the one-year anniversary of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., showed 83 percent of Republican respondents saying they approve of the way the president handles race relations. The poll shows an overwhelming split along party lines, with 90 percent of Democrats polled saying they disapprove of Trump’s handling of race issues.

In the same poll, 82 of African-Americans and 73 percent of Hispanics in the sample said they disapprove of Trump’s handling of race relations.

Approximately half of white respondents, 49 percent, approved, while 51 percent of those respondents said they disapprove.

When asked if racial tensions have increased or decreased in the past year, 61 percent of those polled said racial tensions have increased. Twenty-nine percent said racial tension has stayed the same, while only 10 percent say it has decreased.

The poll came as thousands of anti-racist protesters swarmed Washington, D.C. on Sunday, dwarfing an estimated 15 to 20 people who took part in the “Unite the Right 2” rally, a follow-up to the 2017 Charlottesville gathering. Some of the anti-racist protesters were affiliated with the antifa movement.

“Unite the Right 2” organizer Jason Kessler had originally estimated that somewhere between 100 and 400 people would join the rally.

President Trump tweeted Saturday that he condemned “all types of racism and acts of violence” and urged the nation to come together.

Tags Donald Trump race relations

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