Hillary Clinton launched into a new line of attack against Donald Trump on Thursday, accusing him during an address in Reno of helping foment racial hatred and refashioning the Republican Party as a welcome home for white nationalists.
In unrestrained language, Clinton took aim at Trump’s affiliations with the so-called alt-right movement, a loosely organized network of anti-establishment activists on the right that helped fuel the GOP presidential nominee’s rise. The largely online movement includes legions of openly racist and anti-Semitic activists who operate in what Clinton described as the “far dark reaches of the Internet.”
The alt-right has long cheered Trump, but his ties to the movement intensified with his latest campaign shake-up. Stephen K. Bannon, who led the right-wing website Breitbart News, is now running Trump's campaign.
Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton isn't just attacking him over his racially tinged campaign, but his supporters as well.
"What does she do when she can’t defend her record?" Trump said during a rally in New Hampshire on Thursday "She lies, and she smears, and she paints decent Americans -- you -- as racists."
Trump's comments came just before Clinton was set to deliver a speech on Trump's popularity with white nationalists. Trump's campaign, starting with his initial press conference in which he accused many immigrants crossing the border of being rapists and criminals, has shattered many rhetorical taboos and drawn multiple accusations of racism.
Clinton's aim was obviously political, an effort to draw attention to her healthcare agenda and lure voters outraged that what was a $100 drug now costs $600. But the impact of Clinton accusing the company Mylan of profiteering may have also been financial.
CNBC reported that the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology exchange-traded fund, or IBB, after gaining about 1% in early trading Wednesday, fell after Clinton's tweet and finished the day down 3%, its worst showing in a month.
In anticipation of Hillary Clinton's speech Thursday about the "alt-right" and its embrace of Donald Trump, her campaign released this jolting video of various white supremacists offering praise for the GOP nominee. It is punctuated with footage of Trump hedging when asked if he disavows such support, and a warning in bold text: "If Trump wins, they could be running the country."
The Trump campaign responded swiftly, calling the ad "disgraceful."
"Hillary Clinton and her campaign went to a disgusting new low today as they released a video tying the Trump Campaign with horrific racial images," said a statement the campaign sent out from Trump supporter Mark Burns, an African American televangelist. "This type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting and completely beyond the pale. I call on Hillary Clinton to disavow this video and her campaign for this sickening act that has no place in our world."
Donald Trump's campaign tried again Thursday to clarify his stance on immigration but skirted around the changes he suggested in a town hall that aired a night earlier.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager, insisted that Trump would stick to his pledge of no amnesty, but she did not address whether Trump is moving away from his plan to deport 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
No major presidential nominee in recent history has been as openly adored by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists as Donald Trump, and on Thursday, Hillary Clinton will make the case that he should be held accountable for their embrace.
In a speech in Reno, Clinton will seek to define the insurgent breed of ideology that has fueled Trump’s rise as a dangerous cancer on the nation’s political discourse. She is taking aim at the so-called alt-right movement, a loosely defined and relatively new network of anti-establishment activists on the right that extends from mere outside-the-box protectionist thinkers to flagrantly racist and anti-Semitic hatemongers.
Trump’s alliance with the alt-right crowd is as nebulous as the movement itself. Its most extreme factions have no affiliation with the campaign, even as they praise Trump’s agenda and compare him favorably with Adolf Hitler. The more mainstream elements — including those demanding the deportation of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, an end to free-trade agreements and the repudiation of Wall Street — are the lifeblood of the Trump campaign, amplifying its message on social media and driving turnout at his rallies.