Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs autographs for fans at a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 26, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (photos by AFP)
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton voices regret over saying earlier that ”half” of  Donald Trump’s supporters are xenophobes fitting in the “basket of deplorables.”
"To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," Clinton said at a fundraiser late Friday. "Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it."
She also denounced the GOP nominee’s support for such groups, some of which have adopted a more outspoken approach with Trump running for the 2016 presidential election.
"And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric," said the former first lady, calling such people "irredeemable" and "not America."
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at Cipriani Club on September 9, 2016 in New York City.
Trump reacted to the statement, tweeting, "Wow, Hillary Clinton was SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of amazing, hard working people. I think it will cost her at the Polls!"
His running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, also condemned the remarks "in the strongest possible terms."
"The truth of the matter is that the men and women who support Donald Trump's campaign are hard-working Americans, farmers, coal miners, teachers, veterans, members of our law enforcement community, members of every class of this country, who know that we can make America great again," Pence said. "Let me just say, from the bottom of my heart, Hillary, they are not a basket of anything… They are Americans and they deserve your respect."
US vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks to Republicans at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley,
Clinton lamented her previous remarks in a Saturday statement, saying, "Last night, I was grossly generalistic and that's never a good idea. I regret saying 'half' -- that was wrong.”
She noted, however, that she “won't stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign.”
"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," Clinton said. "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.'"
Around the same time, Trump also made the case for unity, tweeting, "While Hillary said horrible things about my supporters, and while many of her supporters will never vote for me, I still respect them all!"
Clinton’s Friday remarks echoed the ones earlier in an interview with an Israeli television station, in which she categorized Trump’s supporters into "two big baskets."
Supporters wait to hear Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speak at the 2nd annual Joni Ernst Roast and Ride event on August 27, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. 
"If I were to be grossly generalistic, I would say you can take Trump supporters and put them in two big baskets," Clinton told Channel 2 News Israel on Thursday. "There are what I call the deplorables -- the racists, you know, the haters, and the people who are drawn because they think somehow he's going to restore an America that no longer exists. So just eliminate them from your thinking, because we've always had an annoying prejudicial element within our politics."
 Trump campaign, meanwhile, has taken the chance to call for more donations by voters.
"Now is the time to show Hillary the consequences of her words," the campaign wrote in an appeal to supporters. "I'm asking you and the millions of hard-working, patriotic Americans whom she just insulted, to fight back with a contribution of $100, $65, $50, $35, $25, $15, or even $5 to elect Donald Trump to the White House."

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