Clinton Depicts Trump And His Supporters As Online Trolls

“This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name ‘white-genocide-TM.’”

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sharpened her attack on opponent Donald Trump in a campaign speech Thursday by pointing out his prominent online support of white nationalists and the growing alt-right community.

“This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name ‘white-genocide-TM,’” Clinton said during a campaign speech in Reno, Nevada. “Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people.”

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Clinton pegged Trump as an online troll “with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military.”

“The de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump Campaign represents a landmark achievement for the ‘alt-right.’”

She continued with examples of Trump’s past racist and anti-Semitic social media posts. “His campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image — a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills — that first appeared on a white supremacist website…And when Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them.”

The speech comes after a pernicious online attack attributed to alt-right supporters targeting actress and comedian Leslie Jones. Jones’ personal website was hacked this week where the perpetrators exposed her personal information, nude photos, and racist remarks. The hackers and harassers are presumed to be supporters of conservative blogger Milo Yiannopoulos, who incited a previous mass social media attack against Jones.

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Yiannopoulos, a columnist and editor for conservative website Breitbart, has been dubbed an unofficial leader of the alt-right, a fringe movement that adopts white nationalist beliefs and has grown in popularity and presence along with Trump’s campaign.

After publishing a review of Ghostbusters starring Jones called “Teenage Boys With Tits: Here’s My Problem With Ghostbusters,” Twitter banned Yiannopoulos from the platform after it found evidence that he was encouraging people to send Jones hateful and racist images likening her apes.

Clinton came to Jones’ defense and tweeted support for the actress following her speech, after drawing connections between Yiannopoulos’ publication and Trump’s campaign.

Yiannopoulos and Breitbart are big Trump supporters. The GOP nominee recently hired former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon to head his campaign.

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The Democratic candidate highlighted this connection in her speech Thursday. “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,” Clinton said. “This is part of a broader story — the rising tide of hardline, right-wing nationalism around the world.”

Trump’s popularity has risen in tandem with white nationalist and white supremacist sentiments throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season. Google searches of terms such as “alt-right,” “white genocide,” “pro-white,” and “black on white crime” started to peak in 2015 but have increased significantly since 2013.

“They keep saying it, ‘you’re racist.’ It’s a tired and disgusting argument. It’s predictable.”

Trump has tried to disassociate himself from Duke and the white supremacist label. But the Republican nominee has failed to cut ties from other known white nationalists has openly encouraged alt-right supporters online. Trump hosted an “Ask Me Anything” Reddit forum in July on the r/the_Donald subreddit, which is frequented by alt-right supporters.

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Trump tried to dispel Clinton’s characterization of him being a “racist” in a stump speech in Manchester, New Hampshire Thursday.

“When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument: ‘You’re racist. You’re racist. You’re racist.’ They keep saying it, ‘you’re racist.’ It’s a tired and disgusting argument. It’s predictable,” he said. “It’s the last refuge of the discredited Democratic politician.”

Trump then attacked Democrats for failing African Americans and Hispanics with bad policies and that they “it’s time to vote for a change.”

He also argued that his supporters aren’t racist if they support closed borders. “It doesn’t make you a racist. It makes you smart. It makes you an American.”