UPDATE: In the wake of widespread opprobrium, in addition to Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence's statement that he was "taken aback" by her remarks about Trump's supporters, Hillary Clinton tweeted a response. She tweeted:  "Last night I was 'grossly generalistic,' and that's never a good idea. I regret saying 'half' -- that was wrong. But let's be clear, what's really 'deplorable' is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate for the so-called 'alt-right' movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values."
Speaking in New York last night, Democrat Hillary Clinton was forceful in her denunciation of the supporters of Donald Trump, calling them "deplorables," "racist, sexist," ...you  name it." At the fundraiser, Clinton said, "To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call 'the basket of deplorables.' Right?"
The event was dubbed "LGBT For Hillary Gala," at which singers Barbra Streisand and Rufus Wainwright performed.
"Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric."
Clinton went on to say, "Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable. But they are not America."
Trump's other advocates, said Clinton,  "are people who feel 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 response, Trump spokesman Jason Miller issued a statement. "Tonight’s comments were more than another example of Clinton lying to the country about her emails, jeopardizing our national security, or even calling citizens 'super-predators.'" Miller added, "This was Clinton, as a defender of Washington’s rigged system – telling the American public that she could care less about them."
Miller continued, "And what’s truly deplorable isn’t just that Hillary Clinton made an inexcusable mistake in front of wealthy donors and reporters happened to be around to catch it, it’s that Clinton revealed just how little she thinks of the hard-working men and women of America."
Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager, tweeted, "One day after promising to be aspirational & uplifting, Hillary insults millions of Americans. #desperate."
Nick Merrill of the Clinton campaign sought to soften the former diplomat's rhetoric. He tweeted that Clinton was merely referring to so-called "alt right" supporters. "She gave an entire speech about how the alt right movement is using his campaign to advance its hate movement," Merrill wrote.
At the fundraiser, which was focused on sexual identity, Clinton made a jokey reference to "conversion therapy" -- but not in the context of "converting" LGBT individuals to heterosexuality. "We can't take anyone or any place for granted and therefore I am asking you to volunteer for a phone bank or a canvass," she told the audience. Speaking at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan's financial district, Clinton said, "At the very least, if you know anybody who's even thinking of voting for Trump, stage an intervention. That may be one conversion therapy I endorse. Just remember: friends don't let friends vote for Trump."
Later, Barbara Streisand sang a parody of the Stephen Sondheim song "Send in the Clowns" with lyrics about Trump. The famed crooner sang, "Is he that rich, maybe he's poor, 'til he reveals his returns, who can be sure?" She continued, singing "Something's amiss, I don't approve, if he were running the free world, where would we move?"
 "And if by chance he gets to heaven, even up there, he'll declare chapter 11. This sad, vulgar clown. You're fired, you clown."



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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