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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview on Thursday with CNN's Christiane Amanpour called for a systemic deprogramming of Donald Trump's MAGA "cult members." Clinton acknowledged that the former president will likely be the Republican party's presidential nominee.
Clinton said Trump's "negative, nasty form of politics" resonates with his supporters because they may not like migrants, and are homophobic, racist, and misogynistic.
"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 of the Trump saga. "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," she suggested. "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. You know, Make America Great Again was a bid for nostalgia to return to a place where people couldn't be in charge of their lives, feel empowered, say what they want, insult whoever came in their way. and that was really attractive to a significant portion of the Republican base. So it is like a cult. And somebody has to break that momentum. And that's why I believe Joe Biden will defeat him. Hopefully, then that will be the end and the fever will break and Republicans can try to get back to fighting about issues and elect people who are at least responsible and accountable."
"We've had very strong partisans in both parties in the past and we had very bitter battles over all kinds of things, gun control and climate change and the economy and taxes," Clinton said. "But there wasn't this little tail of extremism wagging the dog of the Republican party as it is today. 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 because at some point, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members, but something needs to happen."
"And how do you do that? Because you said you have to defeat them by defeating their leader. Their leader is Donald Trump. Even you have said you expect him to be the Republican nominee. How does this change at all?" Amanpour asked.
"At this point, I think, sadly, he will still be the nominee and we have to defeat him and we have to defeat those who are the election deniers, as we did in 2020 and 2022," Clinton said. "And we have to just be smarter about how we are trying to empower the right people inside the Republican party."