Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invited several supporters to join him onstage during a North Carolina rally to comment on rival Hillary Clinton's remarks about his supporters. Although Clinton has since apologised, Trump is demanding she apologises for saying that "half" of his supporters are "deplorable" people.
"While her campaign slanders you as deplorable and irredeemables, I call you hard-working Americans patriots that love your country and want a better future for all our people," Trump said, according to a report by The Hill. "You are everybody. Above all else, you're Americans and you're entitled to leadership that honours you, cherishes you and totally defends you."
"These are not deplorable people, that I can tell you," the real estate mogul added as he was joined by his supporters, according to Business Insider.
A married African-American couple, who said they worked in public education, spoke first. "My wife and I represent non-deplorable people," the husband said. "We are not racists at all."
Another woman noted, "I am probably a lot of things. Deplorable is not one of them, I assure you...Hillary needs to take a nap."
Earlier on Monday (12 September) during the National Guard Association's annual conference in Baltimore, Trump called on Clinton to retract her statements or end her campaign. "Hillary Clinton still hasn't apologised to those she slandered. In fact, she hasn't backed down at all," he said.
"She's doubled down on her campaign's conspiracy and contempt. If Hillary Clinton will not retract her comments in full, I don't see how she can credibly campaign any further, " Trump continued.
Trump also commented on Clinton's recent health scare at a 9/11 memorial service and pneumonia diagnosis in an interview on Fox News. While he wished her a speedy recovery, he claimed he had an inkling of her medical condition prior to her campaign's confirmation.
His continued remarks that Clinton is not eligible to run for the presidency because of her health come as she faces doubts within the electorate regarding the state of her health. A survey for The Times shows that nearly half of Americans do not trust Clinton about what she says about her health.
The poll, which surveyed 1,910 people, found that 46% of voters to not believe Clinton's campaign regarding her current health state. Another 45% said they did believe the Democrat's campaign and 9% were unsure.