Sunday 17 December 2017

Donald Trump booed as he calls Hillary Clinton corrupt at gala dinner

Khizr Khan, with his wife, who features in a TV ad targeting Donald Trump
Khizr Khan, with his wife, who features in a TV ad targeting Donald Trump

Chris Graham

Donald Trump was booed for his attacks on Hillary Clinton at the annual Al Smith dinner in New York on Thursday night, an event where the presidential candidates traditionally poke fun at their rival and themselves.

With the Republican nominee sitting two seats away from his Democratic rival barely 24 hours after a bitter presidential debate, the white-tie charity gala proved to be a highly awkward encounter.  Cardinal Timothy Dolan, sat in between them, called his seat "the iciest place on the planet".

Kicking off on a light note, Mr Trump earned hearty laughter for some of his early barbs.

"Just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me, and she very civilly said, 'pardon me'," joked Mr Trump, who has frequently said Mrs Clinton should be in jail for her email practices as secretary of state. "And I very politely replied, let me talk to you about that after I get into office."

He also drew laughs with a joke at his wife's expense. "Michelle Obama gives a speech, and everyone loves it ... My wife Melania gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case," Mr Trump joked, referring to the accusations that Mrs Trump plagiarised the first lady in her speech at the Republican national convention.

However, the Republican appeared to lose the room as he repeatedly dug in with caustic swipes at Mrs Clinton, drawing rare boos at a charity event meant to raise money for impoverished children throughout New York.

Katie Hopkins has praised Donald Trump for exploiting the US tax system
Katie Hopkins has praised Donald Trump for exploiting the US tax system

"Hillary is so corrupt she got kicked off the Watergate Commission. How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate Commission? Pretty corrupt," he said to loud jeers and at least one call demanding he get off the stage.

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He then rattled off his standard attack lines, setting aside humour as he talked about the material contained in hacked Clinton campaign emails.

"Hillary believes that it's vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private," he said to growing jeers. "Here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics."

Mrs Clinton was more self-deprecating than Mr Trump, joking that she's taken a break from her "usual nap schedule" to attend and suggesting the audience should be pleased she's not charging her usual fee for speaking in front of potential donors.

But she, too, veered into personal digs, referencing the string of accusations of sexism that have been levelled at Mr Trump.

Hillary Clinton speaks during the third and final US presidential debate with Republican nominee Donald Trump. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton speaks during the third and final US presidential debate with Republican nominee Donald Trump. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

"Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a '4,'" Mrs Clinton joked. "Maybe a '5' if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair."

Said also said she understood why her rival didn't like teleprompters. "I'm sure it's even harder when you're translating from the original Russian," she added, alluding to Mr Trump's past comments on Russia.

The dinner capped another bitter day of campaigning for the two presidential candidates. Here is a full round up of how the rest of the day unfolded as we now enter the home stretch before Election Day.

Telegraph.co.uk

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