President Donald Trump is (finally) in on the joke. Trump launched a number of zingers aimed at himself and his staff at the annual Gridiron Club dinner held in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 3rd.
The longstanding dinner hosted by the Gridiron Club, an exclusive club for Washington’s most prestigious journalists and newsroom bureau chiefs, is part of a presidential tradition dating back to 1885. In fact, every president except Grover Cleveland has spoken at the dinner at least once. The program is in the same vein as the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where presidents poke some fun at themselves in a stand-up comedy routine.
Upon the White House’s announcement that President Trump was attending the dinner, many in Washington speculated as to whether the president would be as willing to joke about himself or his administration. Donald Trump addressed those concerns right from the top saying, “My staff was concerned heading into this dinner that I couldn’t do self-deprecating humor. They were worried about it. They said, ‘Can you do this?’ And I told them not to worry. Nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do.”
He saved the best line of the night for his embattled White House senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose security clearance was recently downgraded, saying, “You know, we were late tonight because Jared could not get through security. Ivanka, you’ve got to do something.”
The Washington Post tracked responses to President Trump’s jokes. The reviews were decidedly mixed, noting that Trump was in a “room full of reporters, no few of whom he openly despises.”
You can find more highlights and reviews of the roast here.