US & Canada

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

A still from The Kelly Files showing Fox News' Megyn Kelly interviewing Newt Gingrich Image copyright Fox News
Image caption Newt Gingrich (right) accused Megyn Kelly (left) and the media of bias

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".

Mr Gingrich appeared on Fox News on Tuesday on behalf of Mr Trump in what resulted in a heated exchange between him and Ms Kelly.

The spat concluded when Ms Kelly ended the interview and told Mr Gingrich to "take your anger issues and spend some time working on them".

On Wednesday, Mr Trump took time out from the presidential campaign to open a new hotel in Washington DC.

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

He appeared at his Doral golf course near Miami, Florida, on Tuesday with a group of his Hispanic employees, many of whom offered testimonials about their experience working for him.

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.

"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."

Image copyright AP
Image caption The Trump family cut the ribbon

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".

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

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.

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.

Who is Megyn Kelly?

Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Kelly has clashed with Mr Trump a number of times

Megyn Kelly is a lawyer-turned-journalist described by Time magazine as "an authoritative voice in cable news".

The mother-of-three, from New York, began her career as a local news reporter in 2003, after nine years in law.

But she was quickly scooped up by Fox News' Washington bureau, and now presents The Kelly File, one of most popular cable news programmes in the US.

Ms Kelly previously raised eyebrows with a "tongue-in-cheek" remark over the colour of Santa Claus' skin in 2013.

But it was her spat with Donald Trump which pushed her into the international spotlight.

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