Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, was on Thursday night booed at a charity roast in New York City for jokes about his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Critics said on Friday in New York that the jokes went beyond the good-natured jibes expected at such a function.
A report on Friday quoted Trump as saying “Hillary is so corrupt that she got kicked off the Watergate commission.
It said the statement led to an unprecedented boos from the audience at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, a charity fundraiser organised by the Catholic Church.
The report added that Trump also got laughed from the audience, most notably when he referred to his wife Melania’s speech at the Republican national convention in July.
“Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it, it’s fantastic, they think she’s absolutely great.
“My wife Melania gives the exact same speech and people get on her case. I don’t get it, I don’t know why,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, if Donald Trump is interested in rigged elections, Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti says he could teach him a thing or two.
Biti was arrested for treason and detained for a month after daring to suggest his party had defeated President Robert Mugabe in a vote in 2008.
Biti, a lawyer who later served as finance minister in an eventual unity government said that “they denied me food, beat me up, put me in leg irons and beat me in the private parts.
“ To opposition figures in Africa, and in other parts of the world that lack the 240-year U.S. history of peaceful transitions of power, Trump’s assertion that November’s U.S. presidential election will be `rigged,’ and his declaration that he may not accept the outcome, are dangerous words.
“Donald Trump is a gift to all tin-pot dictators on the African continent he is giving currency and legitimacy to rigging because if it can exist in America, it can exist anywhere,’’ Biti said.
“ He has no idea what he’s talking about, absolutely no idea, who speaks from the experience of three election defeats to Mugabe, a 92-year-old ex-guerrilla who has run Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
“It makes us cross because in Africa there’s real election rigging,’’ said Biti.
Long-serving rulers who have faced U.S. criticism in the past are already using Trump’s remarks to counter Washington’s pro-democracy message.
When Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power for 30 years, won re-election to his seventh term in February, U.S. officials accused his government of arresting opposition figures, harassing their supporters and intimidating the media.
Trump’s comments, said Museveni’s spokesperson Don Wanyama, “should be an eye-opener to them as they sit down to lecture other countries, they should realise that it’s not easy.
“Democracy is a process and it really takes time,’’.
Trump refused during a debate on Wednesday to say whether he would respect the result of the Nov. 8 poll.
That sent a chill down the spine of Musikari Kombo, a Former Local Government Minister in Kenya, where 1,500 people were killed in a wave of ethnic bloodletting unleashed by disputes over the result of a 2007 election.
“I was shocked was horrified, people in Africa who have always challenged elections will say.
You see, we are vindicated even in the Mother of all Democracies, the presidential candidate is not willing to accept because there is rigging,’’ Kombo said.
U.S. officials, including state governors from Trump’s own Republican Party, say there is no serious vote fraud problem in the United States and the election will be clean.
Nevertheless, Trump and some allies have alleged anomalies in the voter roll in cities such as Philadelphia and Chicago that could allow the votes of dead people to be counted on behalf of his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
It is hard to think what they would have made of this year’s election in Gabon, where opposition leader Jean Ping cried foul after narrowly losing to President Ali Bongo, whose family has ruled the oil-producing former French colony for half a century.
The focus of Ping’s concern was the province of Haut-Ogooue, where results showed 95 to 46 per cent of voters backed Bongo on a turnout of 99.9 per cent, more than double anywhere else.
Gabon’s constitutional court led by the long-time mistress of Bongo’s father, Omar upheld the result.
“I would say to Mr Trump “ come to Gabon to see what a fake democracy looks like, to see what a stolen election looks like,’’ said Alexandre Chambrier, a Senior Ping Adviser.
“There is no democracy here, there is the rule of one family and one man imposing a dictatorial regime,’’ he added, “Mr Trump is not serious.’