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Hillary Clinton's "Basket of Deplorables" Gaffe refers to statements made by 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton referring to many of Donald Trump's supporters as "deplorables" in early September 2016.
On September 8th, 2016, Clinton was interviewed on the Israeli television, where she said that Trump supporters are in "two big baskets," one of which contains "deplorables" who consist of "racists" and "haters" (shown below, left). The following evening, Clinton made a similar statement while speaking at a private fundraiser, where she said "you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call 'the basket of deplorables'" (shown below, right).
"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic -- you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."
Donald Trump's Response
On September 10th, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump published a press release denouncing Clinton's "deplorables" statement, which accused her of "showing bigotry and hatred for millions of Americans."
"Isn't it disgraceful that Hillary Clinton makes the worst mistake of the political season and instead of owning up to this grotesque attack on American voters, she tries to turn it around with a pathetic rehash of the words and insults used in her failing campaign? For the first time in a long while, her true feelings came out, showing bigotry and hatred for millions of Americans. How can she be President of our country when she has such contempt and disdain for so many great Americans? Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself, and this proves beyond a doubt that she is unfit and incapable to serve as President of the United States. I will be President for all of the people, and together we will Make America Great Again."
That day, Clinton released a statement expressing regret for saying "half" of Trump supporters were "deplorable," and accusing Trump of building his campaign "largely on prejudice and paranoia." Additionally, Clinton promised she "won't stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign."
“Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong. But let’s be clear, what’s really ‘deplorable’ is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate for the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values. It’s deplorable that Trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia and given a national platform to hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people. It’s deplorable that he’s attacked a federal judge for his ‘Mexican heritage,’ bullied a Gold Star family because of their Muslim faith, and promoted the lie that our first black president is not a true American. So I won’t stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign. I also meant what I said last night about empathy, and the very real challenges we face as a country where so many people have been left out and left behind. As I said, many of Trump’s supporters are hard-working Americans who just don’t feel like the economy or our political system are working for them. I’m determined to bring our country together and make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. Because we really are ‘stronger together.’”
Also on September 10th, Redditor ToTheRescues submitted a photoshopped picture of Pepe the Frog in a basket along with the caption "On my way to The White House in my / #BasketOfDeplorables" to /r/The_Donald (shown below).
"The Deplorables" Parody Poster
Meanwhile on September 10th, Donald Trump Jr. posted a photoshopped movie poster on Instagram of the 2010 action film The Expendables, which features various prominent conservatives and Pepe the Frog with the title "The Deplorables" (shown below).
The following day, NBC News published an article about the photoshop, which referred to Pepe the Frog as a "popular white nationalist symbol" based on a statement made by Southern Poverty Law Center's Heidi Beirich. That day, several news sites published articles referring to Pepe as a "white supremacist meme" and "white national symbol," including The Hill, Vanity Fair, Talking Points Memo and CNN (shown below). On September 12th, a post mocking the NBC article reached the front page of /r/KotakuInAction.
On September 11th, the Team Trump YouTube channel posted a pro-Trump ad titled "Deplorables," which accused Clinton of "viciously demonizing hard working people" (shown below).
 Talking Points Memo – Trump Ally Son Share Meme Featuring Symbol Of White Nationalist Alt-Right