Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called the U.S. a "divided nation" and said that "race riots" were happening every month. (The Washington Post)

PUEBLO, Colo. — Donald Trump said Monday that “race riots” are happening every month amid deep divisions across the country, apparently referring to protests that have erupted in response to police violence against minorities.

“We’re a divided nation, and each week it seems we’re getting more and more divided,” Trump said at a rally here. “[We see] race riots on our streets on a monthly basis. Somebody said don’t call them race riots, but that’s what they are. They’re race riots. And it’s happening more and more.”

Trump then listed some cities where protests have erupted in response to fatal police shootings of African Americans, such as Ferguson, Mo., and Charlotte.

Trump sought to pitch himself as a champion of minority voters, saying that what is happening to African Americans and Hispanics is “very, very unfair.”

But Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has upset many Hispanic voters. And he only recently started campaigning in African American communities.

Polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Trump by a wide margin among African Americans. Nonetheless, Trump tried to argue that he can make inroads with black voters that Clinton cannot. He cited comments he attributed to boxing promoter Don King, who supports him.

“Don said that Hillary Clinton takes the African American vote for granted,” said Trump. “Here’s the bad news: I don’t think they’re going to want to go out and for vote her. This is not Barack Obama, where they really had spirit to vote for him.”

Trump said many people questioned his decision to campaign in Pueblo. He insisted that Hispanic voters like him, despite extensive polling data showing he is performing poorly among Latino voters.

“They said, well, you have lot of Hispanics/Latinos in Pueblo. But I said, I think that’s why they’re going to like me,” said Trump.