“This is Hillary’s ‘basket of deplorables’ all over again,” said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, referring to a term Hillary Clinton used to brand some Trump supporters as bigots in 2016. “They’re trying to say anyone who supports this president is racist.”…

Campaign advisers and party officials, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that an appeal targeted at Trump’s white working-class base will not necessarily cost him moderate voters.

“The general assumption with everything Squad-related is this helps shore up our base. It definitely helps with white working-class voters,” said one person close to the campaign, using the term that refers to the four congresswomen. “I think that shows that this can be turned into a positive, in terms of a very political viewpoint.”…

Bryan Lanza, an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign and transition, said that although he did not like the “Send her back!” chants, he hoped Republicans would double down rather than back down from their attacks on the four lawmakers.