Donald Trump Gets Booed at the Annual Al Smith Dinner

He got some laughs but then got nasty.

Donald Trump was loudly booed at the annual Al Smith charity dinner in New York on Thursday—an evening typically reserved for good-natured humor and a rare opportunity for presidential candidates to demonstrate a capacity for self-deprecation—when he attacked Hillary Clinton with the aggressive language frequently used at his campaign rallies.

The Republican presidential candidate started on a lighthearted note, as he joked about his “modesty” and his wife’s convention speech, but then quickly plunged into negativity when he called Clinton “corrupt.”

“Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission,” Trump said while the audience jeered. “How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate commission? Pretty corrupt.”

But the line that triggered the loudest boos was when Trump said that Clinton was “pretending not to hate Catholics.”

The Republican candidate quickly addressed the response and said that he did not know if they were directed at him or Clinton.

“You!” some in the audience shouted back.

Clinton followed with a roast more in keeping with previous Al Smith dinners, poking fun at both herself and Trump. “I just want to put you all in a basket of adorables,” she said at one point, referring to her unfortunate description of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” The Democratic presidential candidate’s most scathing zinger took aim at Trump’s views of women.

“People look at the Statue of Liberty, and they see a proud history of a nation of immigrants—a beacon of hope for people around the world,” Clinton said. “Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a 4. Maybe a 5 if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.”

The awkward evening came just one day after the highly contentious third and final presidential debate, where Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend