Hillary Clinton received some mixed reaction on Friday night over some remarks the Democratic presidential nominee made at a campaign event in New York City.
At the LGBT-themed event, the former US secretary of state said, “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables … The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.
Clinton’s comments reflected on the tone of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — one that has, at times, emboldened some of America’s most extreme groups.
“And he has lifted them up,” Clinton said. “He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now have 11 million.”
“He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric,” she added, referring to the multiple times the real-estate mogul has promoted tweets from people affiliated with white nationalist movements. The Democratic presidential nominee dedicated an entire speech to calling out alt-right groups — a segment of conservative voters who hold unfavorable views toward people of colour.
As Clinton’s comments began to gain traction online, campaign spokesman Nick Merrill tweeted, “obviously not everyone supporting Trump is part of the alt right, but alt right leaders are with Trump. And their supporters appear to make up half his crowd when you observe the tone of his events.”
The Trump campaign quickly decried Clinton’s remarks. Senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, said Clinton “ripped off her mask and revealed her true contempt for everyday Americans,” in a statement published Friday night.
Clinton did note that not all of Trump’s supporters are irredeemable: “That other basket of people,” she said, “feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down … those are people we have to understand and empathise with, as well.”
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