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Trump roasts himself and Clinton at dinner

AAP logoAAP 21/10/2016

Donald Trump has roasted himself and rival Hillary Clinton as he kicked off the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York a day after the pair's final contentious debate.

After suggesting that he's best known for his modesty, Trump joked that the gathering is Clinton's "largest crowd of the season".

He later took a shot at the controversy surrounding her use of a private email server as secretary of state, saying that after she bumped into him, she'd said, "pardon me."

Clinton immediately got the joke and tossed her head back to laugh.

The pair are sitting with just one seat between them, filled by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who will be tasked with playing peace-maker.

Also seated on the dais are a host of political and business leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was quietly booed by some in the room when he walked in.

After earning hearty laughs for many of his early jokes Trump appeared to lose the crowd as he crossed the line from jokes to deeply personal insults aimed at his rival.

Trump was repeatedly booed when he described Clinton as corrupt and latched onto information contained in hacked emails from her staff.

That included a hit on Clinton for "pretending" not to hate Catholics as she sits at a Catholic charity event.

Trump also commented on the debate.

"Some people are saying that last night was the most vicious debate in history. Are we supposed to be proud of that?" he asked.

Then he quipped: "Last night I called Hillary a nasty woman. This is all relative. After listening to Hillary go on and on and on, I actually don't think so badly about Rosie O'Donnell anymore."

"This is the first time ever that Hillary is sitting down with major corporate leaders and not getting paid for it," he added.

But Trump also made a joke of his own campaign, referencing accusations his wife stole parts of her speech from the first lady.

"Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it, and then Melania gives exact same speech and people get on her case."

"I'm in trouble when I go home tonight," Trump added.

When Clinton rose she made a joke about taking a break from her "rigorous nap schedule," and then a quip about the price of her speeches.

"It's amazing I'm up here after Donald. I didn't think he'd be OK with a peaceful transition of power," she said.

Clinton also joked about Trump's alleged misogyny.

"Some look at Statue of Liberty and see a symbol... Donald sees a 4. Or maybe a 5 if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair," she said.

Noting that Trump said she should be drug tested before the latest debate, Clitnon said: "I am flattered that Donald feels I used some kind of performance enhancer. Actually I did, it's called preparation."

Trump responded with a chuckle.

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