For the second year in a row, President Trump opted to skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
The annual event — which celebrates the First Amendment and freedom of the press — has traditionally provided journalists and the sitting president with the chance to roast one another on live television, but considering Trump’s contentious relationship with the press, it was no surprise that he decided to hold a rally in Washington Township, Mich., instead.
While the president wasn’t in attendance, his presence was felt at the Washington Hilton. The show began with a satirical cartoon of Trump by Stephen Colbert, before comedian Michelle Wolf took the stage as the evening’s host.
Making Washington laugh is a tough gig, and former Daily Show With Trevor Noah correspondent’s raunchy set received plenty of chuckles (and a fair amount of groans and gasps). Wolf kicked things off by noting how long the evening had already been — and taking aim at Trump: “Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with.”
That wasn’t the only zinger Wolf got in at the president’s expense. “I know as much as some of you might want me to, it’s 2018 and I’m a woman so you cannot shut me up…unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000. Michael, you can find me on Venmo under my porn star name, Reince Priebus,” she cracked. Noting Trump’s absence, she said, “I’d drag him here myself, but turns out the president of the United States is the one p— you’re not allowed to grab…He said it first!”
Still, she had to admit that making fun of Trump is kind of easy. “People call Trump names all the time,” Wolf said. “And look, I could call Trump a racist, or a misogynist, or xenophobic, or unstable, or incompetent, or impotent. But he’s heard all of those and he doesn’t care. So tonight, I’m gonna try to make fun of the president in a new way, in a way that I think will really get him. Mr. President, I don’t think you’re very rich. You might be rich in Idaho, but in New York, you’re doing fine.”
After acknowledging she was probably tapped to host the evening’s festivities because of the #MeToo movement (“They were like, a woman’s probably not going to jerk off in front of anyone, right?”), she switched gears to target the women in Trump’s administration. Namely, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, who were in attendance representing the president. And let’s just say, they weren’t amused.
“We should definitely talk about the women in the administration. There’s Kellyanne Conway. Man, she has the perfect last name for what she does. Conway. It’s like if my name was Michelle Jokes Frizzy Hair Small T—. You guys gotta stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don’t give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. It’s like that old saying: If a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I’m not suggesting she gets hurt, just stuck. Stuck under a tree.”
Trump’s daughter Ivanka found herself in the line of fire next. “She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out, she’s about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons,” said Wolf. “She’s done nothing to satisfy women, so I guess, like father like daughter. Oh, you don’t think he’s good in bed, come on! She does clean up nice though, Ivanka cleans up nice. She’s the Diaper Genie of the administration. On the outside, she looks sleek but the inside, it’s still full of s—.”
She finished off the Trump trio with a few choice words about Huckabee Sanders, who was sitting on the dais and did not crack a smile. “We are graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say, I’m a little starstruck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale,” she said. “Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited, because I’m not really sure what we’re gonna get. you know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies, or divided into softball teams.” Wolf then put on a gruff voice, “‘It’s shirts and skins, and this time don’t be such a little b—, Jim Acosta!’” The impression earned her chuckles from members of the press.
“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. [She] burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies,” Wolf continued as the camera cut to an unhappy Sanders. “It’s probably lies. And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know, is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know, Aunt Coulter.”
But Wolf wasn’t only hard on the administration. She gave equal time to the press as well. “You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you used to date him?” she asked. “Because you pretend like you hate him but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric. But he has helped you. He’s helped you sell your papers, and your books, and your TV. You helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off of him. And if you’re gonna profit off of Trump, you should at least give him money because he doesn’t have any!”
As her time on stage came to the end, Wolf closed with: “Alright, like an immigrant who was brought here by his parents and didn’t do anything wrong, I gotta get the f— out of here! Good night! Flint still doesn’t have clean water.”
Of course, Trump weighed in early Sunday morning with a few thoughts regarding the WHCD and Wolf’s performance — and even had a suggestion for who should host next year’s event. Does that mean he’d consider attending?
Check out Wolf’s full remarks from the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner in the video above. And if you liked what you saw, watch the first promo for her upcoming Netflix series, The Break With Michelle Wolf.