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Charlottesville violence: Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon says white nationalists are 'clowns'

Washington: White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has attacked white nationalists as "clowns" as the fallout from violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, continues.

File image of Steve Bannon. AP

File image of Steve Bannon. AP

"Ethno-nationalism — it's losers," Bannon reportedly said in an interview published by magazine American Prospect on Wednesday.

Bannon's comments follow a weekend of turmoil in the US after a white nationalist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville last week turned violent following clashes between far-right and counter-protesters, CNN reported.

The rally, attended by neo-Nazis and white supremacists, was in protest over the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army in the 19th-century American Civil War.

One woman was killed when a suspected far-right sympathiser drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters. In the days following the incident, President Donald Trump made a series of remarks — some off the cuff — that were strongly rebuked by both Democrats and Republicans.

In the interview, Bannon was asked if there was a connection between the economic nationalism that he supports and the white nationalism seen in Charlottesville.

"Ethno-nationalism — it's losers," he said. "It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," Bannon added.

Bannon, the former editor of the far-right news website Breitbart, is a controversial figure within the White House.

A source close to Bannon told CNN he did not believe he was being interviewed when he spoke with the co-founder and co-editor of the American Prospect.

Bannon and the White House did not comment on the interview.

Updated Date: Aug 17, 2017 16:14 PM

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