In a speech in Reno, Nevada on Thursday, Hillary Clinton attempted to link Donald Trump and his supporters to the “Alt-Right” white nationalist movement. The Democratic presidential candidate, who has been plagued by bombshell reports indicating pay-for-play corruption during her tenure as secretary of state relating to the Clinton Foundation, said a “fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party.”
“From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia,” Mrs. Clinton said. “He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.”
The line of attack also largely surrounded Stephen Bannon, Trump campaign CEO and head of the right-wing website called Breitbart.com. Citing the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing group which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces “ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), after serious questions surfaced regarding the SPLC, stopped working with the once-respected civil rights group.
“He hired Stephen Bannon,” she said about Trump. “The head of a right-wing website called Breitbart.com, as campaign CEO.”
Breitbart News responded to Mrs. Clinton by mocking her on Twitter.
MUH PUTIN IS BEHIND IT ALL pic.twitter.com/ICkA7S4Hug
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 25, 2016
“The de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump Campaign represents a landmark achievement for the “Alt-Right.” A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party,” she said.
The speech proceeded the release of a controversial campaign ad that critics say takes the race card to a whole new level. The ad depicts members of the Ku Klux Clan (KKK) stating why they support Mr. Trump. A few minutes before Mrs. Clinton delivered her speech, the New York businessman issued a preemptive response to charges that he and his supporters are “racists.”
America has a lot to lose by electing Trump. But there’s one group in particular who has everything to gain. https://t.co/A6DFHnMOjd
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 25, 2016
“It’s the oldest play in the Democratic playbook,” Mr. Trump said at an event in New Hampshire. “The news reports are that Hillary Clinton is going to try to accuse this campaign, and the millions of decent Americans who support this campaign, of being racists.”
“Shame on you,” he said, pointing at the media cameras toward Mrs. Clinton.
Meanwhile, the Republican presidential candidate met with black and hispanic Republican leaders on Thursday, including Pastor Mark Burns and Dr. Ben Carson, at Trump Tower in New York City.
“It’s got to be everybody or we don’t have a great country,” Mr. Trump said. “But a very important part of the message for me is the African-American community because they have really been let down by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.”
The meeting is part of a larger push by the campaign to reach out to minorities, something the Clinton campaign publicly mocks by privately stresses over. In response to a question, the GOP candidate said in order to Make America Great Again, “we have to make all of it great again, including our inner cities.”