Trump condemns Clinton's 'deplorables' label on his backers

Hillary Clinton told an audience of donors Friday night that half of Donald Trump's supporters fall into "the basket of deplorables", meaning people who are racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic.

Less than 24 hours after she made the statement at a private New York City fundraiser. "I regret saying 'half" - that was wrong", she said in the statement.

"From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia".

Clinton, who has said she is the candidate to unify a divided country, made the "deplorables" comment at an LGBT fundraiser Friday night at a New York City restaurant, with about 1,000 people in attendance.

But Clinton had no trouble directly calling out some of Trump's supporters on Friday.

"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the "basket of deplorables". They are "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic - you name it".

And Trump himself tweeted: "Wow, Hillary Clinton was SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of fantastic, hard working people". I think we have to do this together.

Trump, a NY businessman who has never run for political office before, regularly says things that some consider insulting, racist or off-color.

Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, forcefully condemned Clinton "in the strongest possible terms" Saturday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.

"I think it's ridiculous that there's a debate about whether Donald Trump has a sizable bloc of supporters who are racists", said one Democratic operative close to the Clinton campaign who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly.

The rhetorical scuffle comes as the candidates head into the final two months of the campaign, with Trump trying to make up ground on Clinton before the November 8 election.

Of course, while Clinton is taking heat for her comment, Trump's brand is controversy. I also meant what I said last night about empathy, and the very real challenges we face as a country where so many people have been left out and left behind. "And she wouldn't be prosecuted". By contrast, 45 percent of Clinton backers are paying close attention to the race, and 80 percent are certain to vote, while one-fifth say they will probably or are less likely to cast a ballot. "It's like incredible", he said.

She added, "And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up". "Millions of fantastic, hard-working people". He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric.

"But the other basket - and I know this because I see friends from all over America here - I see friends from Florida and Georgia and SC and Texas - as well as, you know, NY and California - but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're just desperate for change".

In an effort to explain the support behind Trump, Clinton, speaking at a fundraiser, also described the rest of his supporters as people who are looking for change in any form because of economic anxiety and urged her supporters to empathize with them. "They are Americans and they deserve your respect", he added.

Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, said in a statement that Clinton "ripped off her mask and revealed her true contempt for everyday Americans". By early afternoon, Clinton walked back her comments.

"She referred to those people as irredeemable", he said, before launching into a defense of Trump voters.

Donald Trump says that he had a "thoughtful and substantive" conversation with Mexico's president on Wednesday as he kicks off a long-awaited speech on immigration. A campaign spokesperson emphasized how many "alt-right" leaders support Trump for president and that their message comes through at his rallies. So I won't stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign.

On Sunday the candidates were expected to put their campaigns on pause as they marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks by attending the official commemoration in NY at the World Trade Center site.

Mrs. Clinton reportedly had planned to steer her campaign away from personal attacks.

Comments about voters - especially at private fundraisers - have tripped up presidential hopefuls in the past.

Clinton's comments amount to startlingly blunt talk for a candidate that is usually measured in her assessment of the Republican nominee. But when they were widely reported, Trump and Republicans quickly pounced on the remarks, which drew comparisons to President Barack Obama's comments about clinging to "guns and religion" at a 2008 campaign fundraiser and Mitt Romney's "47 per cent" remark in 2012.

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