Roasting the Night Away: President Trump’s Standup Routine Steals the Show at Gridiron Dinner

US President Donald Trump smiles during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the US House of Representatives on January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Win McNamee (Photo credit should read WIN MCNAMEE/AFP/Getty Images)
WIN MCNAMEE/AFP/Getty
Washington, D.C.

President Donald Trump spared no one in his orbit on Saturday night during a speech in which he roasted his friends, foes, former staffers, and even his wife first Melania Trump in 34 minutes on the stage.

“Another calm week at the White House,” Trump joked from the stage, mocking the intense infighting that has consumed his administration.

“We finally have it running like a fine-tuned machine,” Trump joked, per a White House pool report.

Trump joked that he was late to the dinner “because Jared couldn’t get through security,” mocking his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s loss of top secret security clearance because of a variety of business entanglements.

“Ivanka, you’ve got to do something!” Trump called out to his daughter, mocking her too.

Trump said that Vice President Mike Pence, who he called a “straight man,” begins every day by asking about the president he would replace if removed: “Is he impeached yet?”

He also jeered at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a frequent target of his criticism, over Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation by saying Sessions recused himself from a ride to the dinner.

“I offered him a ride over and he recused himself,” Trump said. Sessions and several other cabinet and White House officials joined the president at the dinner.

Trump ridiculed “the failing New York Times,” and CNN, and then turned his jokes on former White House chief strategist and former Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon. He joked that CNN lost its “very best reporter” in Bannon when Bannon left the White House last year.

“That guy leaked more than the Titanic,” Trump said of Bannon.

Omarosa Manigault was not spared either. The former White House public liaison chief turned reality TV star again found herself in the president’s crosshairs after one more jab at Bannon.

“Trump went on to say people doubted him after he lost his ‘chief strategist,’” White House pool reporter Hunter Walker of Yahoo News wrote in the press pool report. “However, he joked that those same people now say, ‘somehow you’re still doing great without Omarosa.’”

“Omarosa, you’re the worst!” Trump said.

Trump also called the near-constant infighting inside his White House “exciting and invigorating” then added: “I like turnover. I like chaos. It really is good.”

At that point, he mocked not only policy adviser Stephen Miller but his wife Melania too.

“Trump then joked about who would be next to leave the White House and questioned whether it would be ‘Steve Miller or Melania,’” Walker wrote in the White House pool report. “He later referenced the #FreeMelania hashtag.”

“She’s actually having a great time,” Trump added of Melania.

Trump also roasted Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, as “crazy.”

“Man, she’s crazy, but she’s a fine woman,” Trump said of Pelosi, before bashing former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Trump also brought up ‘talk’ former Vice President Joe Biden, or as he put it, ‘Sleepy Joe,’ might run for president in 2020. Trump referenced prior comments Biden made about wanting to take him out behind a barn,” Walker wrote.

“I would kick his ass like no other. … Man, would he be easy,” President Trump said of running against Biden.

“Trump also mocked Oprah and Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” Walker added at the end of the pool report. “He once again called Warren ‘Pocahontas’ and quipped that the senator suggested he and Rex Tillerson should smoke a ‘peace pipe’ with the Koreans. Trump accused Rep. Adam Schiff of leaking to the press about the Russia probe.”

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