WASHINGTON ― Kellyanne Conway conceded on Sunday that at least one supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is, in fact, deplorable.
CNN’s Jake Tapper showed Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, a video from a Trump rally in Phoenix showing an agitated man yelling “Jew-S-A” at the press during a crowd chant of “U-S-A.” The man held a Trump-Pence sign and wore a “Hillary for Prison” T-shirt, the latter of which are sold by the paranoid news site Infowars.
Tapper stated, “We have seen a lot of anti-Semites and racists and misogynists who support the Trump candidacy.” He then asked Conway, “Would you call that man deplorable?”
Conway responded, “Wow, yes I would. His conduct is completely unacceptable and does not reflect our campaign or our candidate.”
She continued, “[H]ad I been there I would have asked security to remove him immediately. Clearly he doesn’t speak for the campaign or the candidate, and I think what he had to say was disgusting.”
In September, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told a crowd at a fundraiser that half of Trump supporters fell into a “basket of deplorables.” They are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it,” she said. Clinton later apologized and said she shouldn’t have said half.
The Trump campaign and Conway decried Clinton’s statement as a terrible attack on a large number of Americans. The campaign has repeatedly refused to apply the “deplorable” label to the behavior of some Trump fans.
After decrying the anti-Semitic chants of the Trump supporter in Phoenix, Conway took issue with Tapper’s assertion that there are many openly bigoted Trump supporters.
“Wow, I have to push back on some of the adjectives you used to describe,” she said. “You’ve seen tens of thousands, over half a million people easily, no, in excess of that at his rallies, and these are USA-loving Americans who just want their country to be prosperous and safe again.”
“Let me be clear what I am saying,” Tapper replied. “The vast majority of Trump supporters do not qualify as to what I’m talking about, but without question, people who are experts on hate groups say that there has been a comfort level that has been offered to people who are anti-Semitic and racist and on and on, and these people feel comfortable coming out in the open and supporting Mr. Trump.”
“Comfort level by who, Jake, a campaign I run, seriously?” Conway said.
“Mr. Trump has refused to condemn in a very serious way his racist and anti-Semitic fans,” Tapper said “He has ― he says things like ‘sure I disavow, I disavow’ but never seriously said, ‘I don’t want the support of those people. They are reprehensible. They have nothing to do with me.’ He has never seriously done it in the same way.”
Conway disagreed and changed the subject.
“He has. Let me repeat on his behalf, that’s the way this campaign feels and I think that this exchange is frankly the best piece of evidence I have we’re going to win in nine days,” she said, “because the idea we’re going to shift away from the pattern of corruption, the cloud of ethical stain that Hillary Clinton would bring to the Oval Office.”
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