US Election 2016

US election: Trump thanks Gingrich for 'amazing' Kelly interview

Trump family at hotel Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Trump family cut the ribbon at his new hotel

Donald Trump has congratulated Newt Gingrich on his spat with TV anchor Megyn Kelly, whom the former house speaker said was "fascinated" with sex.

Mr Gingrich claimed Ms Kelly showed "bias" for mentioning the groping allegations against Mr Trump.

Mr Trump praised Mr Gingrich's comments while breaking from the campaign to open his new hotel in Washington, DC.

"Congratulations," he said. "That was an amazing interview last night...We don't play games, Newt".

His rival Hillary Clinton is spending her 69th birthday campaigning in the must-win state of Florida.

Mr Trump had some good news in a Bloomberg Politics poll that put him two points ahead in that state.

But with less than two weeks until election day, he continues to trail Mrs Clinton in other key battleground states.

The $212m (£173m) hotel opening at the Washington's Old Post Office Pavilion was Mr Trump's second marketing event of the week.

But Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump's campaign manager, told NBC's Today programme on Wednesday that his appearance at the opening was to showcase his accomplishments.

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Media captionTrump's hectic campaign - and business - schedule

"Hillary Clinton took five days off to prepare for one debate and everyone looked at that as some kind of noble exercise," she said on NBC's Today show.

"He's got the most active campaign 'sched' of the two candidates by far."

At the scene - Courtney Subramanian, Trump International Hotel

The Republican nominee appeared at the grand opening of his $200m luxury namesake hotel at the Old Post Office in Washington, just down the street from another piece of real estate he hopes to acquire in January - the White House.

Small groups of protesters flanked the entrance of the hotel, only to be outnumbered by members of the press awaiting Mr Trump's second business promotion this week.

The hotel may be "under budget", as Mr Trump claims, but it did not skimp on opulence. Staff welcomed guests through gold-flecked doorways into his Presidential Ballroom illuminated by grandiose crystal chandeliers.

"Today is a metaphor for what we can accomplish in this country," Mr Trump said in his hotel's resplendent ballroom.

The New York businessman transitioned from talking about restoring the Old Post Office to repairing the country's infrastructure, military equipment, education system and tax code.

He struck a much softer tone than his usual harsh campaign rhetoric, talking of America's future.

"We have to choose the most optimistic path," he said. "There is no dream outside our reach".

The hotel opening was seized on by Hillary Clinton as further evidence that Mr Trump exploits American workers.

She told a rally in Lake Worth, Florida, that the businessman relied on undocumented workers "to make his project cheaper".

"He has stiffed American workers, he has stiffed American businesses," she said.

Many of the products in the hotel's rooms were made overseas, she said.

Image copyright Fox News
Image caption Newt Gingrich (right) accused Megyn Kelly (left) and the media of bias

Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly has previously angered Mr Trump for questioning his attitude towards women.

But it was the mention of the leaked "sex boasts" tapes - in which the presidential nominee is heard to say he grabbed women by the genitals - which angered Mr Gingrich on the Kelly File on Tuesday.

Who is ahead in the polls?

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Hillary Clinton

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Donald Trump

The former Speaker of the House claimed the media was spending a disproportionate amount of time on the accusations of sexual misconduct, which Mr Trump has denied.

"You are fascinated with sex and you don't care about public policy," he told the bemused anchor.

Ms Kelly replied that she was fascinated by "the protection of women and understanding what we're getting in the Oval Office".

The interview ended with Ms Kelly telling Mr Gingrich to work on his "anger issues".

There are less than two weeks to go before Americans cast their votes, with polls suggesting Democrat Hillary Clinton is ahead.

What happens next?

  • The two candidates will spend the remaining 14 days before the election criss-crossing the country in their bid to persuade undecided voters. Expect to see lots of appearances in battleground states such as Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania
  • Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday 8 November to decide who becomes the 45th president of the US
  • The new president will be inaugurated on 20 January 2017

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