Hillary Clinton calls for Donald Trump’s ‘cult’ supporters to be systematically


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims Donald Trump’s supporters are part of a MAGA ‘cult’ that needs to be ‘systematically deprogrammed’ to rid them of their ‘negative’ and ‘nasty’ politics. 

She made the comment while bemoaning the attitudes that has taken root in the former president’s supporters, while tearing into ‘MAGA extremists’ and asking what it would take for Trump’s most loyal supporters to ‘break’ with him.

Her remarks about Trump’s supporters had overtones of 2016, when she she said you could put bout half of Trump’s supporters in a ‘basket of deplorables.’ 

That was a statement that many of Clinton’s party members came to regret when Republicans made hay out of it to rally their forces.

‘So there’s clearly a common sense, you know, sane part of the Republican Caucus in the House. But I think they are intimidated,’ Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, during a volatile week in Congress when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted after Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a motion to triggered his removal.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a new interview spoke about 'MAGA extremists,' comparing them to 'cult' members who need to be 'deprogrammed'

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a new interview spoke about ‘MAGA extremists,’ comparing them to ‘cult’ members who need to be ‘deprogrammed’

She was referencing the group of Republicans who joined with Democrats to extend government funding for 45 days and avoid a shutdown, the act that precipitated McCarthy’s removal. 

She then compared political battles of the past to more modern clashes – having lived through her husband’s failed impeachment, the Whitewater probe, the Benghazi hearings, and her own ferocious 2016 campaign experience.

‘I mean, we had very strong partisans in both parties in the past, and we had very bitter battles over all kinds of things, gun control and climate change and the economy and taxes but there wasn’t this little tail of extremism waving, you know, wagging the dog of the Republican Party, as it is today,’ she said.

‘And sadly, so many of those extremists, those MAGA extremists, take their marching orders from Donald Trump, who has no credibility left by any measure.’

Then she brought up Trump’s four criminal indictments, plus other legal challenges like the potential $250 million in penalties he is fighting in court in New York this week.

‘He’s only in it for himself. He’s now defending himself in civil actions and criminal actions. And when do they break with him? You know, because at some point, you know, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members. But something needs to happen and how do you do that?’ she said. 

Amanpour, the longtime foreign affairs correspondent, smiled and chuckled during her ‘deprogramming’ comment, then asking how the situation might ever change.

Clinton made the comments in a sit-down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour

Clinton made the comments in a sit-down with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared Donald Trump supporters to a 'cult' and suggested 'formal deprogramming'

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared Donald Trump supporters to a ‘cult’ and suggested ‘formal deprogramming’

The comments by Clinton, who had her official portrait unveiled at the State Department, had echoes of her 'basket of deplorables' comment during the 2016 campaign

The comments by Clinton, who had her official portrait unveiled at the State Department, had echoes of her ‘basket of deplorables’ comment during the 2016 campaign

Clinton's comments come as Trump has continue to rise in the polls even while battling multiple criminal indictments

Clinton’s comments come as Trump has continue to rise in the polls even while battling multiple criminal indictments

Trump has relied on his loyal base of support throughout his presidency and post-presidency. He campaigned in Iowa this month to try to get people to commit to caucus for him

Trump has relied on his loyal base of support throughout his presidency and post-presidency. He campaigned in Iowa this month to try to get people to commit to caucus for him

Trump holds a 1-point lead over President Obama in the RealClearPolitics polling average

Trump holds a 1-point lead over President Obama in the RealClearPolitics polling average

‘At this point I think that sadly he will be the nominee.  We have to defeat him,’ Clinton responded. 

Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for the Make America Great Again PAC, blasted Clinton’s comments and termed the idea her ‘re-education camp proposal.’

‘President Trump has said countless times that they are only coming after him, because he stands in their way from coming after you — and Hillary Clinton just confirmed that to be true,’ she said. ‘Tens of millions of Americans will reject the Democrat Party’s re-education camp agenda in November 2024 when we make Donald Trump the 47th President of the United States.’

Clinton, who was defeated by Trump in 2016, spoke about the deep ‘psychological’ bond between Trump and many of his supporters.

Trump famously said in Iowa in 2016 that ‘I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?’

‘It’s a classic tale of an authoritarian populist who really has a grip on the emotional, psychological needs and desires of a portion of the population,’ Clinton said. ‘And the base of the Republican Party, for whatever combination of reasons — and it is emotional and psychological — sees in him someone who speaks for them, and they are determined that they will continue to vote for him, attend his rallies, wear his merchandise because for whatever reason, he and his very negative, nasty form of politics resonates with them,’ she said.

Clinton made her ‘deplorables’ comment at a New York fundraiser in 2016 in the middle of the fall campaign for the White House, when Trump’s packed rallies were still an emerging phenomenon.

‘You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?’ Clinton said. ‘The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.’

Trump defeated Clinton in the electoral college, although she received more votes than he did nationwide. Now, in a sign that is worrisome for Democrats, Trump leads President Joe Biden by about one percentage point in the RealClearPolitics polling average.  



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