Trump Pokes Fun at Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon at Gridiron Dinner

President Donald Trump and his political allies and opponents found common ground with members of the Washington press corps Saturday night, taking and giving humorous jabs at each other at the annual Gridiron Dinner.
“Nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do. It’s not even close,” said Trump, who skipped last year’s dinner. He also said: “I was very excited to receive this invitation and ruin your evening in person. That’s why I accepted.”

The annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation, now in its 133rd year, traced its history to 1885, the year President Grover Cleveland refused to attend. Every president since has come to at least one Gridiron.

“Rest assured, Mr. President, this crowd is way bigger than Cleveland’s,” Club President David Lightman, congressional editor for McClatchy News, told the white-tie audience at the Renaissance Washington Hotel. The organization said the event attracted about 660 journalists, media executives, lawmakers, administration officials and military officers.Members of the Washington press corps sharpened their wits for musical and rhetorical takedowns of the president, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama. Trump’s own one-liners closed out the evening and included:

— On his son-in-law: “We were late tonight, because Jared could not get through security.”

— On Vice President Mike Pence: “He is one of the best straight men you’re ever going to meet … he is straight. Man.” Trump also said, “I really am proud to call him the apprentice ”

— On Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “I offered him a ride over and he recused himself. What are you going to do?”

— On The New York Times: “I’m a New York icon. You’re a New York icon. And the only difference is I still own my buildings.”

— On former chief strategist Steven Bannon: “That guy leaked more than the Titanic.”

Appearing to be a good sport at the dinner — he laughed and applauded at times during the evening’s entertainment — Trump had fired off a tweet at the national press hours earlier:

“Mainstream Media in U.S. is being mocked all over the world. They’ve gone CRAZY!” He linked to a story by a conservative pundit saying Trump and his family are victims of “unparalleled” press attacks.

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