Hillary Clinton on Friday traded barbs with Donald Trump and poked fun at him, describing him as “healthy” as the horse Russian President Vladimir Putin rides on and wondered how Barack Obama would get past the “Muslim ban” for a presidential photo-op in a Trump White House.
Clinton and Trump came face-to-face at a white-tie charity dinner at the Waldorf Astoria here, barely 24 hours after they clashed with each other at the third and final vitriolic presidential debate in Las Vegas.
The two were sitting one seat away from each other at the 71st annual Alfred Smith charity dinner, which historically has been a good-natured roast and a presidential campaign ritual of levity where the candidates make self-deprecating remarks, indulge in light-hearted banter and poke fun at each other.
Clinton, who spoke after Trump said it is “amazing” she is up here after him.
“I didn’t think he’d be O.K. with a peaceful transition of power,” she said to laughter from the elite audience of about 1,000 people that included New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, US Senator Chuck Schumer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Democratic nominee took a jab at Trump’s perceived closeness with Russian President Putin when she brought up the 70-year-old reality TV star’s concerns during the election campaign over her health.
The 68-year-old former secretary of state said Trump has been very concerned about her health throughout the campaign.
“Donald really is as healthy as a horse, you know the one Vladimir Putin rides around on,” a reference to a famous picture of a bare-chested Putin riding his horse.
She also said that there were no teleprompters at the dinner, which was good since such devices “are hard to keep up with and even harder when you are translating from the original Russian”.
She then made a reference to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims and linked it to his skepticism over Obama’s birthplace and faith.
Clinton said if Trump does win the elections, then things will get “awkward” at the annual presidents’ day photo when all the former presidents gather at the White House. “And not just with Bill. How is Barack gonna get past the Muslim ban.”
The audience laughed and cheered as Clinton made her remarks, occasionally giving her an applause.
Trump, who was accompanied by his wife Melania, laughed at Clinton’s jokes, occasionally leaning in towards his wife and grinning.
The 70-year-old Republican nominee began his remarks with some light-hearted comments, including jokes about his “beautiful hands” and that Clinton appearing at the event without charging any fees for it, but was booed as he shifted gears from the self-deprecating humorous tone of the event to call Clinton “corrupt”.
“Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate commission. How corrupt you have to be to get kicked off of the Watergate commission. Pretty corrupt,” he said as the elite crowd booed.
(With inputs from PTI)