Donald Trump interrupted his Wednesday speech announcing the grand opening of his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. to congratulate Newt Gingrich for his contentious and off-the-rails interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
“Congratulations on that interview last night,” Trump told Gingrich, who sat at the front of the D.C. hotel’s ballroom. “That was an amazing interview. We don’t play games, Newt.”
Gingrich, a surrogate, launched into a finger-wagging tirade against Kelly during a Tuesday night interview when she asked him about the multiple women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.
The former House speaker accused Kelly of being “fascinated with sex,” although the accusations against Trump involve sexual assault, not consensual sex. Kelly in turn told Gingrich to work on his “anger issues.”
Trump’s social media advisor, Dan Scavino, also said Gingrich “destroyed” the “biased” Fox host, with whom the Republican nominee has clashed repeatedly. Trump has called Kelly a “bimbo,” “lightweight” and “third-rate reporter.”
Trump’s praise for Gingrich was just one peculiar moment in his brief address, which alternated between promoting his businesses and making stump-speech style remarks on the problems with Obamacare.
He compared what he called his “under budget, ahead of schedule” D.C. hotel to what he called the “over-budget, behind schedule” projects managed by the federal government. Trump also spoke fondly of his golf course in the Bronx, promised to “set free” the potential of American voters and pledged to “go into inner cities” to revitalize the nation.
Diverting from his campaign slogan, he told the audience, “The United States is great. It’s great.”
Networks eschewed live coverage of the event, which the campaign told press was purely a promotional effort for the formal opening of the hotel and unrelated to the presidential race.
Trump last held an event at the D.C. hotel in September, where he misleadingly told the press he would address his role in promoting birtherism. Instead, he spent thirty minutes touting endorsements from military generals on live TV and boasting about the hotel before delivering a 30-second long statement acknowledging that President Barack Obama was born in the United States and leaving the room without taking questions.