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Clinton: Trump Is 'Taking Hate Groups Mainstream'

In a speech in Reno, Nev., on Thursday, Hillary Clinton drew connections between rival Donald Trump and hate groups.
Josh Edelson
AFP/Getty Images
In a speech in Reno, Nev., on Thursday, Hillary Clinton drew connections between rival Donald Trump and hate groups.

In a speech Thursday in Reno, Nev., Hillary Clinton argued that Donald Trump is "helping a radical fringe" — the alt-right — take over the Republican Party.

"From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He's taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America's two major political parties," she said. "His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous."

The alt-right has been described as a loose movement, largely fueled online, that ranges from fringe conservatism to white nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism. As explained by NBC News, it is a "blanket term for a loose gathering of conservatives primarily based online that can include everyone from critics of so-called 'political correctness' on college campuses to hardcore white supremacists and neo-Nazis."

Clinton also hit Trump for his recent hiring of Steve Bannon of conservative news site Breitbart. A "de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump Campaign represents a landmark achievement for the 'Alt-Right,' " she continued. "A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party."

"All of this adds up to something we've never seen before. Of course there's always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it's never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now," she said.

Clinton also blasted Trump for quipping that President Obama founded ISIS, proposing a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. (that proposal appears to have softened) and not quickly condemning the support of former KKK leader David Duke.

"He says he wants to 'make America great again,' but his real message remains 'Make America hate again.'"

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Thursday's speech "proved to the American public what we have known all along – Hillary Clinton has no hope, no vision and no ideas for the future of our country."

Conway continued:

"Clinton lied about her emails, she lied about Colin Powell, and today she lied about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is talking about issues; Hillary Clinton is talking about Donald Trump. Today, as she took a break from her Hillary-in-Hiding Tour, she missed another opportunity to talk about education, infrastructure, terrorism, healthcare, the economy and energy. We're living in her head rent-free, and that must terrify the political insiders who want to keep things exactly the way they are."

In anticipation of Clinton's speech and response to an earlier ad from the Clinton campaign, Trump addressed the allegation in his own speech earlier in the day Thursday.

Trump said that Clinton is "going to accuse decent Americans who support this campaign, your campaign, of being racist, which we're not. It's the oldest play in the Democratic playbook."

"The people of this country who want their laws enforced and respected, respected by all, and who want their borders secured are not racist," Trump said.

Clinton also released an ad Thursday arguing "there's a reason the most hateful fringe of the right wing is supporting Donald Trump":

A statement from Trump campaign proxy Pastor Mark Burns called on Clinton to disavow the video:

"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. 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."

A number of news outlets have reported on and explained the alt-right. Read more here:

NBC News: Hillary Clinton Is Delivering a Speech on the 'Alt-Right.' What's That?

Los Angeles Times: Hillary Clinton takes aim at Donald Trump's ties to 'alt-right' world of radical conservatives

Yahoo: What is the alt-right? A beginner's guide

Time: How Trolls Are Ruining The Internet

Breitbart: An Establishment Conservative's Guide To The Alt-right

BuzzFeed: How 2015 Fueled The Rise Of The Freewheeling, White Nationalist Alt Right Movement

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