Clinton regrets insulting Trump backers

Hillary Clinton said at the weekend she regretted saying that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables”– a remark the billionaire Republican slammed as her “worst mistake of the political season”.

The Democratic presidential candidate came under fire for remarks made at a New York fundraiser late on Friday, which unleashed a wave of derision and mockery on social media.

“To be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton told a crowd at the “LGBT for Hillary” gala.

“The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it. Unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

She said those people were “irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America”.

“Basket of Deplorables” quickly became a trending hashtag on Twitter, with users venting their fury at Clinton.

There was even a mock account called “Hillary’s Basket”, with the handle @TheDeplorables, deriding the former first lady and US senator.

With less than two months to go before election day, Clinton walked back her remark on Saturday.

“Last night I was grossly generalistic, and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong,” she said in a statement.

Clinton then listed a number of “deplorable” things about Trump.

“It’s deplorable that Trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia,” she said.