Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a “formal deprogramming” for many supporters of former President Trump during a new CNN interview.
Discussing the recent upheaval on Capitol Hill, Clinton contrasted what she called the “sane” part of the GOP caucus who helped prevent a government shutdown with the “cult” wing devoted to Trump.
“That’s the way it used to be,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. “I mean, we had very strong partisans in both parties in the past, and we had very bitter battles over all kinds of things… but there wasn’t this little tail of extremism, waving, you know, wagging the dog of the Republican Party as it is today. 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. 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?”
Clinton continued, “Because at some point, you know, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members, but something needs to happen.”
That remark appeared to amuse Amanpour, who could be seen gleefully reacting to Clinton.
The former presidential hopeful predicted that “sadly” Trump will be the 2024 nominee but expressed confidence that President Biden would defeat him. She was then asked how she has “processed” the reality that the man who defeated her in 2016 is seeking the White House again despite his legal battles.
“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.”
“Maybe they don’t like migrants, maybe they don’t like gay people, or Black people, or the woman who got the promotion at work they didn’t get, whatever the reason,” Clinton continued.
“So it is like a cult and somebody has to break that momentum. And that’s why I believe Joe Biden will defeat them and hopefully then that will be the end and the fever will break. And then Republicans can try to get back to fighting about issues among themselves and electing people who are least, you know, responsible and accountable,” she added.
Clinton’s comments seemed to mirror the infamous 2016 moment when she said declared Trump supporters to be part of a “basket of deplorables.”
“You can put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call a basket of deplorables,” Clinton said at a campaign event. “They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up.”
While she’s continually called for the defeat of “election deniers” who did not accept Biden’s 2020 victory, Clinton repeatedly called Trump an “illegitimate president” and peddled the narrative that Russia and a combination of other factors stole the 2016 race from her.
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