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Hillary tries to show amusing side after taking vicious Trump barbs

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have traded sharp barbs and brutal put-downs at a supposedly light-hearted NY charity gala, with many in the well-heeled crowd turning on the Republican nominee midway through his remarks and showering him with jeers.

"I didn't think he'd be OK with a peaceful transition of power", Clinton said, needling Trump for saying he's unsure whether he'll accept the results of the presidential election. "What I've seen is so bad", he said, repeating unfounded allegations of vote rigging.

In 2000, Al Gore told another memorable joke - at the expense of Clinton, nearing the end of her successful Senate run in NY. In an event that, in the past, has served as an occasion for candidates to poke fun at one another, as well as themselves, Trump went into attack mode, saying, "She got kicked off the Watergate commission". Trump's comments seemed unusually mean-spirited, given the forum, while Clinton's jokes often fell flat.

When the audience booed at that line, Trump replied, "That's OK, I don't know who they're angry at, Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics".

Smith also teased Clinton, noting that "titans of Wall Street" were in attendance, but told her to restrain herself from seeking donations and to "remember the children".

"Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a "4", she said.

After a brief pause for effect, she continued: "Maybe a five if she removes the torch and tablet and changes her hair".

"I'm in trouble when I go home tonight", Trump said. And when they entered and took their seats, they did not shake hands or make eye contact.

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"I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election", Trump said Thursday while campaigning in Ohio. "Just one. If we don't turn out to vote", Obama said.

She laughed as Mr Trump joked about her well-paid speeches and the FBI investigation into her private email.

The senator has said he supports Trump's bid for the White House, despite their policy disagreements and recent accusations that Trump has been sexually aggressive toward women, because he doesn't want Clinton to be president. Joni Ernst of Iowa said she could not speak for Trump. "I get that. They're hard to keep up with, and I'm sure it's even harder when you're translating from the original Russian".

The candidates shared the stage at a formal dinner in New York City named for the state's former governor, Alfred E. Smith, less than 24 hours after finishing their third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

"I will look at it at the time", Trump said.

Defying his notorious stinginess, Mr Trump more than doubled his campaign spending last month compared with August, burning through about 70 million dollars (£57m) as his standing in polls and among fellow Republicans dropped. He has outsourced most of his on-the-ground voter contact to the Republican Party.

New finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission outlined their dramatically different approaches to the quest for the White House.

The New York billionaire property mogul has bragged until recently about his low-priced campaign and dismissed the need for television ads and polling services.

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