The Gridiron Club Dinner, a longstanding tradition featuring a humorous presidential speech filled with self-deprecating jokes and jabs taken at members of a president’s own administration, welcomed President Donald Trump on Saturday.
Since the event’s creation in 1855, the club has invited every sitting president to attend and partake in the roast-style speech.
However, due to the mainstream media’s strained relationship with the president, many were wondering if Trump would be able to give jokes at his own expense.
But right from the start, Trump dispelled any doubts about his ability to take a joke.
“My staff was concerned that I couldn’t do self-deprecating humor,” Trump said during the speech. “And I told them not to worry, nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do.”
However, it wouldn’t have been a Trump-led roast without zeroing in on his usual targets — the Democrats, dreamers and the mainstream media.
“But we were talking about the Dreamers and quite honestly, Democrats can fantasize all they want about winning in 2020 … those are the dreamers,” Trump joked.
The president tapped into his past as a real estate mogul when taking a jab at The New York Times.
“You, The New York Times, are an icon. I’m a New York icon, you’re a New York icon. And the only difference is, I still own my buildings,” he quipped, referencing the media giant’s recent financial struggles.
Trump also took a shot at former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was ousted from his position in the administration in 2017 after a seemingly great relationship with the president quickly turned sour.
“That guy leaked more than the Titanic,” he joked, adding that CNN had lost its “best reporter” in Bannon.
However, arguably the best portions of the president’s material were aimed at himself and his family, as reported by The Hill.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner recently had his security clearance downgraded, and the president was not letting him off the hook, stating he was late to the dinner “because Jared couldn’t get through security.”
“Ivanka, you’ve got to do something!” Trump added.
The president also made light of Hope Hicks’ recent departure from the White House, joking about the high turnover rate at Capitol Hill.
“So many people have been leaving the White House. It’s invigorating since you want turnover. I like chaos. It really is good,” he said. “Who’s going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller, or Melania?”
He also roasted Vice President Mike Pence for his use of the “Graham rule.”
“The other day we were in line shaking hands with men and women, and a woman came over to shake his hand and he said, ‘I’m sorry I can’t do that, my wife is not here.’ He’s 25 years ahead of his time, folks,” the president said.
And if the president’s humor-filled speech wasn’t enough to show his ability to handle self-deprecation, guests in attendance chose their meals from “Fake Menus,” as reported by NPR.
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