Donald Trump may have stepped off the campaign trail on Wednesday to attend the grand opening of his new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. — but his mind was never far from the race.
The GOP nominee spent the better part of his speech talking about his campaign and even took time out to congratulate supporter and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on sparring with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on live TV over the sexual assault allegations against Trump.
“By the way, congratulations, Newt, on last night,” Trump told Gingrich, who was seated in the crowd with wife Calista. “That was an amazing, amazing interview.”
“We don’t play games, Newt, right? We don’t play games,” he added.
Trump’s congratulations come one day after Gingrich accused Kelly of being “fascinated by sex” when she suggested Trump may be a “sexual predator” during a fiery live interview.
“I’m sick and tired of people like you using language that’s inflammatory, that’s not true,” Gingrich said, wagging his finger at Kelly and later adding, “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.”
Kelly replied, “I’m not fascinating by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office.”
Asked about the contentious interview at the hotel opening Wednesday, Gingrich told the Daily Mail‘s David Martosko, “That’s just the business.”
According to pool reports, Gingrich later told reporters that many Republican women had thanked him for standing up to Kelly.
Back at the hotel opening, Trump joined wife Melania and his children Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany for the official ribbon-cutting in the grand lobby of his new hotel. Trump thanked “the employees, the construction workers and all the people who worked so hard” to finish the project. He specifically congratulated Ivanka — who also spoke at the event — saying: “This was her baby.”
He then used large ceremonial gold scissors to cut the red ribbon.
Trump touched on his new hotel project only briefly during his speech at the opening, saying that while it was impressive, “it seems very insignificant compared to what we’re doing now.” He added that his success in real estate shows “how to work with government and get things done” and that his theme for the day was “under budget and ahead of schedule.”
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“So important,” he said. “We don’t hear those words too often in government — but you will.”
Trump also said he was heading back on the campaign trail soon, with stops in North Carolina, Ohio and New Hampshire.