Donald Trump chastised Hillary Clinton’s “total disrespect for people” on Monday afternoon, hours after his campaign released a TV ad criticizing Clinton’s “deplorables” remark at a fundraiser last week.
Addressing nearly 1,000 National Guard Association members at the organization’s 138th annual conference in Baltimore, Trump suggested that Clinton retract last Friday’s statements, describing them as an “attack on the American people.”
“I was deeply shocked and alarmed to hear my opponent attack, slander, smear and demean these wonderful, amazing people who are supporting our campaign,” the Republican nominee said. Clinton “called them a ‘basket of deplorables’ in both a speech and an interview.”
“She called these patriotic men and women every vile name in the book . . . racist, sexist, xenophobic and Islamaphobic,” he continued, reading from a prompter. “She divides people into baskets as though they were objects, not human beings.”
Trump also used his speech to take yet another swipe at Clinton’s email use while secretary of state, as well as her performance in that office, saying she “believes she is above the law.”
She called these patriotic men and women every vile name in the book . . . racist, sexist, xenophobic and Islamaphobic.
“Her comments displayed the same sense of arrogance and entitlement that led her to violate federal law as secretary of state, hide and delete her emails, and put classified information in the reach of our enemies,” Trump said. “To this day, she still won’t take accountability for her role in unleashing – that’s what she did – unleashing ISIS across the Middle East.”
Trump’s new 30-second ad reiterates many of these attacks on Clinton, beginning with a voice-over claiming that she “called tens of millions of Americans ‘deplorable’ while speaking to wealthy donors.”
Clinton used the phrase last Friday at a fundraiser but expressed regret over the statement Saturday. Her campaign quickly responded to Trump’s speech Monday, describing it in an email as “bigoted and disrespectful rhetoric,” and pointed to a slew of Trump’s recent military-related comments, including his tweet attacking on four-star Gen. John Allen and insult of Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan.
Clinton also had been invited to speak at the National Guard conference but declined, according to a Maryland National Guard spokesman. The National Guard Association – which includes more than 45,000 current and former Guard officers – has hosted at least one presidential candidate every year since 1992. In 2012, Republican nominee Mitt Romney spoke at the conference in Reno, Nevada.
Association members greeted Trump’s speech – which briefly included plans for “major rebuilding of the entire military and the elimination of the defense sequester” as well as “the best, modern state-of-the-art equipment in the world” – with a standing ovation.
Sophie Ota: 202-383-6131