President Donald Trump ridiculed the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which he skipped to rally with supporters in Michigan on Saturday.
“By the way, is this better than that phony Washington phony White House Correspondents dinner?” Trump asked the audience, who roared with approval. “Isn’t this more fun?”
Trump expressed frustration that he had to sit and smile during those dinners as people repeatedly took shots at him.
“These people they hate your guts … you know you got to smile, and if you don’t smile, they say ‘He was terrible, he couldn’t take it’ and if you do smile they’ll say ‘What was he smiling about,’” Trump said. “You know there’s no winning.”
The crowd went wild as Trump took the stage in Michigan, telling supporters that he had been invited to the dinner.
“I’d much rather be in Washington, Michigan, than in Washington, D.C., right now,” he said. “That I can tell you.”
Trump skipped the dinner for the second year in a row, but this year he allowed some of his staff to attend.
“The president encouraged his staff and all of us to attend and so we did,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told a CNN reporter at the dinner.
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway joked that White House staff attending the dinner doubled the coverage of the event, but said that Trump said they could go.
“He also encourages us to have fun,” Conway said. “He’s a really great boss and he believes in having a fun and social workplace and he talks about that often.”