Hillary Clinton suggested Wednesday that white nationalists have become emboldened by President Trump's rhetoric, although she stopped short of estimating how many actual white nationalists exist in the U.S.
"I think there has proven to be more white supremacists and white nationalists than I wish there were in our country, as we saw tragically in Charlottesville and other places," Clinton told radio host Hugh Hewitt during an interview that aired Wednesday. "And they have made common cause with the president’s agenda out of their own mouth that he is someone that they are counting on to promote it."
Clinton was referring to a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va., over the summer that devolved into violence.
"I think most people who support him, support him because you know, they feel like he is speaking their language, that he is expressing their own thoughts and their fears, their concerns about the country and the changes that we’re experiencing," Clinton said of Trump's supporters.
The former Democratic presidential nominee came under intense fire during the 2016 campaign for describing half of all Trump voters as "deplorable."
"I think that if you keep your supporters in a frenzy all the time, and you go after black athletes who are expressing peacefully their opinions, whether you agree with them or not, you are feeding the worst impulses that have been part of American history from our very beginning," Clinton said. "And I don’t think we’ve made the progress we’ve made over our 240 years by giving into those."
Clinton blamed Trump's push to do away with "political correctness" for the racial tensions in society.
"I think there are people who are unfortunately kind of reverting back to rather virulent attitudes about race in part because I think that it’s become 'politically acceptable,' no longer politically correct to try to overcome our own feelings that often block us from seeing each other as fellow human beings," Clinton said. "But no, the hardcore people, I agree with you, I don’t think that is a very large number. Unfortunately, their views, which used to be quite beyond the mainstream, you know, have a much broader audience now, because you know, of being online and having outlets and media presence that can promote those attitudes."