A year ago almost to this day, Hillary Clinton spoke in Reno, Nev. The Democratic presidential candidate delivered what she described as “a disturbing preview” of what kind of president Donald Trump would be.

Clinton told the story of how her Republican opponent “built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. … taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties.” Her words resonate in the wake of Charlottesville and the president’s dismaying response to the deadly, racially charged clashes.

He confirmed her warning about the path he would follow.

Gary Cohn gets it. According to reports, the director of the White House Economic Council weighed resigning after the president blamed “both sides” in Charlottesville. No doubt both sides engaged in levels of violence. In an interview with the Financial Times last week, Cohn drew the clear and necessary distinction: “Citizens standing up for equality and freedom should never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK.”

Yet that is what the president did, and he knew what he was doing in applying a certain moral equivalence. He portrayed Charlottesville just as the far right, or alternative right, or white supremacists, white nationalists and related hate groups preferred. Thus came the appreciative responses from their ilk, the president giving them more reason to feel emboldened, as Clinton predicted he would.

In her Reno talk, Clinton plunged into the detail of Trump trading in racial stereotypes, “a man with a long history of racial discrimination.” She recalled the Justice Department pursuing him early in his real estate career for refusing to rent apartments to blacks and Latinos, their rejected applications marked with a “C” for “colored.”

A Trump casino was fined for removing black dealers. Clinton could have added that Trump held to the claim that five young men of color attacked a white woman in Central Park — though DNA evidence proved their innocence.

Clinton pointed to Trump at the front of the “birthers,” promoting for years the “racist lie” that Barack Obama, the first black president, isn’t an American citizen. She traced the pattern into the campaign, Trump calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, claiming a federal judge couldn’t be fair because “he’s a Mexican,” even retweeting white supremacists and proving slow to refuse the support of David Duke.

Trump claimed falsely that American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the Sept. 11 attacks.

Clinton spoke one week after Steve Bannon joined the Trump campaign as its chief executive. Bannon, of course, arrived from the Breitbart News website, where he now has returned after a tumultuous time at the White House. He has viewed the site as a platform for the alternative right, or “alt-right,” rejecting mainstream conservatism, championing nationalism and white grievance, the door open to race-baiting and anti-immigrant ideas.

At one point, Clinton recalled troubling headlines from Breitbart stories, including “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.” She noted that the headline followed the racist-fueled massacre in Charleston, S.C., at the Emanuel AME Church.

That word “heritage” is loaded. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, the president has used it in the context of playing to white resentment. He recently tweeted: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.”

Recall the president in the spring telling an interviewer: “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War — if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

At first, the words just seem strange. Yet they echo a revisionism of the Confederacy that began almost immediately following Civil War and persists today. They suggest the war wasn’t about slavery but about states’ rights, or something that could be negotiated, the South somehow the victim of Northern aggression or punished for holding tight to principle.

Soon, you arrive at “very fine people.” Here, again, the president seeks to confer legitimacy on those who embrace something abhorrent at its core. He did so in pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who continued racial profiling in defiance of the law.

Gary Cohn sees the problem, telling the Financial Times: “This administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities.” Then, there is the Clinton warning: That isn’t Donald Trump.

Douglas is the Beacon Journal editorial page editor. He can be reached at 330-996-3514 or emailed at mdouglas@thebeaconjournal.com.