It's not easy catching Hillary when she's actually saying something truthful. In this instance it was just pure luck since she has let the press near her at only 6 of 330 fund raisers she has done with the "snooty" donors she panders to.
Clinton would have been on firmer footing if she had stuck to the kinds of careful caveats used in her speech about the alt-right. As recently as Thursday, Clinton used the "basket" analogy. And on Sunday, Politico wrote about the analogy, noting Clinton's attempts to appeal to Republicans — in the other basket:
"Former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman even introduced Clinton at multiple closed-door August fundraisers in California. There, the candidate explained her approach to Republicans interested in Trump, according to one Bay Area attendee. Clinton divides Trump voters into two baskets, she said: the everyday Republicans — her targets — and what she called 'the deplorables' — the 'alt-right' crowd she excoriates and has no hope of wooing."
Neither instance received much attention, because of her wording. Note the lack of "half."
Clinton's latest remark comes at a time when Clinton was beginning to open up with the press more and planning to speak in more personal terms around issues, in an effort to reduce her near-record unfavorable ratings. (Only Donald Trump has worse ratings for a presidential candidate).
She took questions from reporters at length three separate times this past week. And the reason reporters know what Clinton said Friday night is because it was one of just sixfundraisers that has been open to the press out of more than 330 she's done in this campaign.
Hillary Clinton Said 'Half' Of Trump Supporters Are In A 'Basket Of Deplorables' : NPR