White House Correspondents' Association President Jeff Mason opened up the event with a speech that was certainly aimed in Trump's direction.
Given US President Donald Trump's fraught relationship with the media, it was no surprise that he became the first American head of state in decades to skip the annual White House Correspondents' dinner in Washington.
"A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now", he said.
Hilarious! #hasanminhaj ROASTS Donald Trump At The 2017 White House Correspondents ...
At the rally in Harrisburg, the president said the media should be given "a big, fat, failing grade" over their coverage of his achievements during his first 100 days and told the cheering crowd he was "thrilled to be more than 100 miles from Washington".
On Trump's golf habit: "Every time Trump goes golfing, the headline should read, 'Trump golfing". Many presidents have had successful terms after a slow start. "Others may disagree about that". ("I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke", Minhaj quipped.) Unsurprisingly, he took the chance bash the media all over again, to the delight of those in attendance.
Also speaking at the event were legendary journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who famously broke the story on Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal. And he has tried relentlessly to create his own reality, in which things like "alternative facts" take precedence over "fake news" (which, as many have pointed out, is really just a term he uses for any news he doesn't like). The threat from North Korea, getting a health care bill passed and possibly renegotiating the Paris climate accord were among the big talking points of the almost one-hour speech.
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Of course, that was at Daytona in the first race of the 2017 season, and it could charitably be called a wreck-fest. And many say a race at Daytona and Talladega can be both mentally and physically exhausting.
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Trump was off in Pennsylvania, rallying with his base. With that backdrop he signed an executive order directing the Commerce Department and the United States trade representative to conduct a study of United States trade agreements.
His rally Saturday in Pennsylvania will give him a chance "to talk to voters about what he has done over the past 100 days and how he sees the next 100 days and the 100 days after that", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
In his morning radio address Trump issued an assurance: "My only allegiance is to you, our wonderful citizens". Trump ended up being the butt of the jokes that night from comedian Seth Meyers and Obama himself.
With President Donald Trump sending his regrets, the attention was no longer focused on an in-person roasting of the commander in chief and his humorous remarks about politics and the press.
- "Historically, the President performs at the Correspondent's Dinner, but I think I speak for all of us when I say he's done far too much bombing this month".
Trump's 100th day events were set in a politically important state that he won with 48% of the vote.
Trump's first 100 days have also been plagued with controversy, from appointing his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to key White House posts to dealing with allegations of possible ties between some of his campaign aides and Russian Federation.