US Studies Centre CEO Professor Simon Jackman told Sky News that Republicans, including Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, have urged Donald Trump to explicitly denounce white supremacists groups after the president failed to do so during the first presidential debate.

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked the president if he was "willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence".

"I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right. ... I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace," Mr Trump said.