Hillary Clinton has called half of Donald Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables" at a fundraising event in New York City on Friday (September 10). The democratic presidential candidate chastised Trump's supporters at a LGBT For Hillary gala, before spreading a more hopeful message to his fans.

"To just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the 'basket of deplorables'. Right?" said Clinton, according to the Washington Post.

"The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."

Clinton then noted how Trump has "given voice" to white supremacists and anti-Semites, by sharing their rhetoric on social media.

Her comments immediately drew a reaction from the Trump camp, however, who labelled her speech as "deplorable" in its own right.

Jason Miller, senior communications advisor for Trump, said: "What's truly deplorable isn't just that Hillary Clinton made an inexcusable mistake in front of wealthy donors and reporters happened to be around to catch it, it's that Clinton revealed just how little she thinks of the hard-working men and women of America."

Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway also laid on the criticism. She tweeted: "One day after promising to be aspirational and uplifting, Hillary insults millions of Americans. Desperate."

Despite the criticism, Clinton did have a more up-beat message about the "other half" Trump supporters, urging her own fans to be empathetic.

"That other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're just desperate for change," Clinton said.

"Those are people we have to understand and empathise with as well."