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.”


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.