President Trump on Sunday ripped the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, calling it a “boring bust' and touting his Michigan rally, at the same time on Saturday night, a “big success.”
“While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn’t work,” Trump tweeted. “Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust...the so-called comedian really “bombed.” @greggutfeld should host next year! @PeteHegseth.”
Trump for the second straight year skipped the annual Washington dinner for reporters, politicians and other famous people -- where he, like presidents before him, was the target of jokes by the host.
"It's 2018 and I'm a woman, so you cannot shut me up, unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000," cracked host-comedian Michelle Wolf.
Wolf, the after-dinner entertainment for the White House press corps and their guests, was surprisingly racy for the venue and seemed more at home on HBO than C-SPAN. After one crass joke drew groans in the Washington Hilton ballroom, she laughed and said, "Yeah, shoulda done more research before you got me to do this."
As he did last year, Trump flew to a Republican-friendly district to rally supporters on the same night as the dinner. In Washington Township, Michigan, the president assured his audience he'd rather be there than in that other city by that name.
"Is this better than that phony Washington White House Correspondents' Dinner? Is this more fun?" Trump asked, sparking cheers.
"I could be up there tonight, smiling, like I love where they're hitting you, shot after shot. These people, they hate your guts ... and you've got to smile. 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?'"
Wolf's act had some in the audience laughing and left others in stony silence. A blistering critique of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who was seated just feet away, mocked everything from her truthfulness to her appearance and Southern roots.
Unlike last year, when Trump aides also declined to attend, the Trump White House had its contingent, including counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Former administration officials were on hand, such as onetime press secretary Sean Spicer, ex-chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and political aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.