At the end of what has been a chaotic and unexpected week in Donald Trump’s administration, the president offered up his biggest surprise yet when he seemingly laughed at his own troubles during the Gridiron dinner on Saturday night.
Much like the White House Correspondents’ Dinner — which Trump has previously chosen not to attend— the yearly dinner is attended by hundreds of journalists and filled with jokes and laughter. But many wondered whether the notoriously thin-skinned president would be able to join in on the fun — especially in light of the scandal surrounding former communications director Hope Hicks’ surprise resignation on Wednesday, one day after she had admitted to a congressional investigative committee that she told “white lies” on behalf of Trump.
But Trump surprised everyone by seemingly attempting to gloss over the drama and poke fun at his troubles, according to pool reports from the White House Press Office.
“It’s been a really calm week at the White House,” Trump remarked at the start of his speech, before joking that his wife Melania, with whom he is rumored to have an icy relationship, might be the next person to leave the White House, reported CNN.
“So many people have been leaving the White House,” Trump continued, according to CNN. “It’s actually been really exciting and invigorating ’cause you want new thought. So I like turnover. I like chaos. It really is good.”
“Now the question everyone keeps asking is, ‘Who is going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller or Melania?’ ” he added, reported the outlet.
But the president then seemed to backtrack on this remark by sincerely adding that his wife is “actually having a great time” in Washington, D.C., according to the pool reports.
Apologizing for the dinner starting a little behind schedule, Trump explained that he was late “because Jared couldn’t get through security,” according to the pool reports.
Although he sincerely went on to call Kusher a “great guy” who has “suffered.”
In what might have been the joke that hit closest to home, Trump also made light of the ongoing investigation into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, joking that Vice President Mike Pence began everyday by asking, “Is [Trump] impeached yet?”
But despite making jokes about himself, the portion of the evening Trump seemed to enjoy the most came at the expense of one of his favorite rivals: Hillary Clinton.
Following a song performed by journalists which mocked the former presidential nominee, Trump “applauded vigorously,” according to The New York Times.