At a Thursday rally, Hillary Clinton touted Donald Trump’s endorsement by a Ku Klux Klan newspaper and condemned the recent arson of a black church in Mississippi.
“He has spent the entire campaign offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters,” Clinton said at the rally in Winterville, N.C. “You better believe he’s being heard loudly and clearly. Donald Trump was endorsed by the official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan.”
The Democratic nominee added that the KKK said “they place their faith and hope in him.”
Trump earned that endorsement in the fall issue of the Crusader, a small newspaper that bills itself as the official outlet of the KKK. Trump’s campaign disavowed the publication’s support, which was widely picked up by news articles earlier this week.
Clinton’s attack highlighted her fierce fight to turn out black voters in North Carolina, a state that elected Barack Obama in 2008 but swung back to red in 2012. Obama stumped for her there Wednesday and will return Saturday. The share of black voters casting their ballots early in the state has dropped 5 percentage points from 2008, a sign that they may not come out in the same numbers for Clinton as they did for Obama.
At the rally, Clinton was introduced by Mae Brown Wiggins, who choked back tears as she talked of the “pain” she experienced when she was denied an apartment in a Trump-owned building in the 1970s. Trump and his father, Fred C. Trump, who started the the family real estate business, were sued by the Justice Department for discriminating against potential black tenants.
Clinton also brought up a recent arson at a black church in Mississippi and vowed to tackle “systemic racism” if she’s elected. Police are still investigating who painted a pro-Trump slogan on the church before setting it alight. Clinton stopped short of saying Trump inspired the attack, saying only that such an event should not be “acceptable” in America.
“What happened to that church in Mississippi yesterday should not be normal,” Clinton said. “People painted ‘Vote Trump’ on the side and then they set it on fire. Who would do that to a house of worship?”