“This Might be the Most Fun I’ve Had Since Watching Your Faces on Election Night”
President Trump rubbed elbows with the Washington press corp on Saturday and cracked jokes at the expense of top members of his administration. Speaking at his first Gridiron dinner event, Trump joked about his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s struggles with his security clearance in the White House.
“We were late tonight because Jared could not get through security,’ the president joked”..that’s funny! It sucks for press that Trump can take the wind out of all their “scandal” sails (Melania, Jared, Sessions, Bannon) in one night. #gridiron https://t.co/RG8AIww636 @MailOnline
— Veronica (@vevecurl) March 4, 2018
Since its foundation in 1855, almost every president has attended the annual white tie dinner at least once during their administration. The club extends a standing invitation to the president every year.
The event is known for its roast-style speeches, skits and political comedy, with lawmakers and journalists going after one another throughout the dinner.
The Hill reports,
All eyes were on Trump ahead of the event Saturday evening, with many wondering if the president — who frequently attacks the media and comedians who mock him — would be receptive to jokes at his own expense.
His speech didn’t stray too far from his usual targets, with jokes that took aim at Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the media and some administration officials.
But the president was also the butt of a few of his own jokes, as were members of his family.
Here are Trump’s most memorable punchlines from his debut at the Gridiron Dinner:
Trump’s quip that he was late because Kushner couldn’t get through security
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 4, 2018
In light of Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner having his security clearance downgraded, Trump joked about the matter, saying he was late “because Jared couldn’t get through security.”
“Ivanka, you’ve got to do something!” Trump said, according to White House pool reports.
Trump asks who will leave White House next: Stephen Miller or Melania?
Trump’s joke about White House turnover comes days after communications director Hope Hicks announced her departure from the administration.
“So many people have been leaving the White House. It’s invigorating since you want turnover. I like chaos. It really is good. Who’s going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller, or Melania?” Trump said, according to White House pool reports.
“That’s terrible. But you love me right, honey? She said, behave! By the way she has been an incredible first lady.”
Early this year, Trump’s relationship with First Lady Melania Trump was thrust into the spotlight when reports emerged that former adult film star Stormy Daniels had an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump early on in his marriage with Melania.
Trump later added that Melania is having a good time in the White House and joked, “she can finally claim me as an adult dependent.”
The dig at the media that also hit Bannon
Trump, who frequently hits the news media over its coverage of his presidency, mocked a number of news outlets during his speech.
According to a White House pool report, he also took aim at former adviser Stephen Bannon, joking that CNN had lost its “very best reporter” in Bannon.
“That guy leaked more than the Titanic,” Trump said of his former chief strategist, who he criticized for speaking to “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff.
Trump’s joke that Pence is just waiting for his impeachment
“Lately he’s [Pence is] showing a particularly keen interest in the news these days. “He wakes up every morning and asks, has he been impeached yet. I don’t like that,” Trump joked of his Vice President.
He also called Pence his “apprentice” in reference to the reality television show Trump used to host.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the ongoing Russian investigation, and appeared to double down on that claim on Saturday.
“You can’t be impeached when there’s no crime,” he said. “Put that down!”
He suggested Tillerson should “smoke a peace pipe” with North Koreans
Trump shared his unofficial plans for deescalating tensions with North Korea, saying he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should smoke a “peace pipe” with the country.
He also announced during his speech that he was willing to meet with North Korean leaders.
“I won’t rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un, I just won’t. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem not mine,” Trump said.
Trump’s joke he offered Sessions’s a ride to the event but he recused himself
Trump has both publicly and privately expressed his frustration over Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from the investigation into Russian election interference. Now, Trump is joking about it too.
“I offered him a ride over and he recused himself,”
Trump said, according to a White House press pool report.
Trump compares being president to hosting “The Apprentice”
“In one job I had to manage a cutthroat cast of characters, desperate for TV time, totally unprepared for their roles and their jobs and each week afraid of having their asses fired, and the other job I was the host of a smash television hit,” Trump reportedly joked.
Read more at The Hill