President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania attended the annual Gridiron dinner with members of the press on Saturday.
The dinner is a night of comedy and performances where members of the media roast the president and politicians and the president gives a humorous speech.
Trump declined to attend last year and accepted this time around. The president’s speech poked fun at his administration, members of the media, and his opponents. Below are the top 10 moments from the speech.
“I know the Gridiron is really an old tradition in Washington, been around a long time, and one that’s important to many of you in the media. So, I was very excited to receive this invitation and come here and ruin your evening in person.”
On Attorney General Jeff Sessions
“But Attorney General Sessions is here with us tonight. … I offered him a ride over and he recused himself. … But that’s OK.”
Note: Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation on Russian election meddling.
On The New York Times
“We also have some of the leading lights of the media here including some folks from the failing New York Times. That sucker is failing!”
“After all, you the New York Times are an icon. I’m a New York icon, you’re a New York icon, and the only difference is, I still own my buildings.”
On CNN and Steve Bannon
“And it’s been a very tough year. Jeff Zucker’s here. … CNN, it lost a tremendous amount of credibility this year, but they also lost one of their true stars, the guy who got you the most scoops, inside info … your really very best reporter. There was nobody like him—Steve Bannon. That guy leaked more than the Titanic.”
Note: Steve Bannon is a former member of the Trump administration.
On the Media
“It might be hard for you to believe, but I do enjoy gatherings like these. They give me a chance to socialize with members of the opposition party. … Also great to see some Democrats here.”
“But I do want to say this is one of the best times I can ever remember having with the media. This might be the most fun I’ve had since watching your faces on election night. … I apologize. Years, years, years taken off your life.”
On Democrats Who Didn’t Stand at the State of the Union
“I probably could have found a way to get the Democrats to stand and clap. … They didn’t. They were like frozen. I said black unemployment is at the lowest point in history. No emotion. They sat other than Manchin. He stood up. Thank you, Joe. He’s still paying the price for that. I said Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest level in history, record. There was no emotion. But I decided I wasn’t going to change anything. I wasn’t going to get them to stand. I didn’t know how. … I was not going to include a salute to Fidel Castro. They would have stood up. They would have cheered.”
On Nancy Pelosi
“But we had, ‘Drain The Swamp,’ we had, ‘Lock Her Up, we had, ‘Build The Wall.’ Build the wall! Nancy Pelosi has been trying to come up with a line that’s equal. And her line that she announced last week is, ‘Mow The Grass!’ It doesn’t work.”
“Mow the frickin’ grass. … That’s going to stop MS-13.”
“And it’s true … Nancy’s worth tens of millions of dollars and she’s a populist. … You know, she really considers herself that. And I really try to tell her that you can’t be a true populist unless you’re worth at least ten billion dollars … people like you better.”
On Dreamers and Democrats’ 2020 Hopes
“I really believe the Republicans want to solve this problem—DACA—more than the Democrats, and certainly faster. So, we’re all working together and I hope that something’s going to happen. I really do. I hope that something’s going to happen.”
“We’re talking about the Dreamers and, quite honestly, Democrats can fantasize all they want about winning in 2020. Those are the Dreamers. … I’m a Dreamer also.”
Note: “Dreamers” is a term used to refer to illegal aliens who entered the United States as children. DACA refers to a temporary amnesty program for these illegal aliens.
On Kim Jong Un
“I won’t rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un. I just won’t. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem, not mine.”
Comparing Reality TV With the White House
“Many people have asked me how my time as a reality TV star prepared me for the presidency, the truth is there’s very little overlap between the two. Very little. In one job, I had to manage a cutthroat cast of characters desperate for TV time, totally unprepared for their … jobs, and each week afraid of having their asses fired. In the other job, I was the host of a smash television hit. … Television’s so easy compared to this.”
A full speech transcript was published by The Hill.