Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton caused an uproar late Friday after telling a fundraiser audience that half of Republican nominee Donald Trump's supporters could be described as part of a "basket of deplorables."
The former secretary of state, who described her own remarks as "grossly generalistic", said Trump had bolstered people who are "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it." She did add that Trump's other supporters are frustrated by hard times and merit sympathy.
"They are just desparate for change," Clinton said. "They don't buy everything [Trump] says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different.
Clinton was speaking at an LGBT fundraiser in New York City, where she encouraged supporters to "stage an intervention" if they have friends considering voting for the Republican nominee.
"That may be one conversion therapy I'd endorse," said Clinton, referring to a type of counseling designed to urge gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender children to change their sexual orientation. The Democratic nominee later clarified that she wants to end the practice.
Singer Barbra Streisand, who performed at the fundraiser, altered the lyrics of the Stephen Sondheim song "Send In The Clowns" to mock Trump, referring to the real estate mogul as a "sad, vulgar clown."
Kellyanne Conway Retweeted Ruby Cramer
One day after promising to be aspirational & uplifting, Hillary insults millions of Americans.
Kellyanne Conway added,
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement that Clinton had "revealed her true contempt for everyday Americans" and called the remarks an "inexcusable mistake."
Nick Merrill Retweeted Gabriel Debenedetti
(1/3) She gave an entire speech about how the alt right movement is using his campaign to advance its hate movement.
Nick Merrill added,
Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill defended the candidate in tweets of his own.
"Obviously not everyone supporting Trump is part of the alt-right, but alt-right leaders are with Trump," Merrill added. "And their supporters appear to make up half his crowd when you observe the tone of his events.
The fundraiser capped a day during which Trump again attacked Clinton's credibility. He said Clinton was being "protected" during the Justice Department's investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state.
"She could walk right into this arena right now and shoot somebody with 20,000 people watching, right smack in the middle of the heart, and she wouldn't be prosecuted," Trump said at a rally in Pensacola, Fla.
Trump also faced criticism from within his own party for refusing to outline his plans for combating foreign policy challenges, including threats posed by ISIS. Trump said this week that he does indeed have a plan, but would convene military leaders in his first 30 days in office to craft another plan.
Trump has also faced criticism for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin during a high-profile national security forum earlier in the week, and appearing on a Russian-backed television network Thursday evening.
On Friday, Clinton said she was "disappointed" by Trump's decision to appear on RT America, saying that "every day that goes by this just becomes more and more of a reality television show. It's not a serious presidential campaign."
With several prominent Republican national security officials already concerned about Trump's national security acumen, Clinton has tried to cast herself as the better potential commander in chief. She has aggressively promoted her growing list of military endorsements from both parties.
On Friday, her campaign said the number of retired generals and admirals endorsing Clinton for president has grown to 110. Trump quickly countered by saying his list had ballooned to 120 former U.S. generals and admirals earlier in the week.
Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, received his first intelligence briefing Friday. The vice presidential nominee declined to offer any specifics since the information was classified.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.