Comedian's Sarah Sanders 'roast' stuns White House Correspondents' Dinner

Mark Wilson  Getty Images North America

Mark Wilson Getty Images North America

Wolf kicked things off by remarking, "It's 2018 and I am a woman".

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman questioned the attack on Sanders and praised her for not walking out.

A blistering critique of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was seated just metres away, mocked everything from her truthfulness to her appearance and Southern roots.

Conservatives reacted with outrage to Wolf's humour before her routine had wrapped up, particularly her jokes about Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway.

Trump didn't attend Saturday's dinner, for the second year in row, but instead held his own "performance" before a crowd of MAGA-hat wearing fans at a rally in Washington, Michigan. Ms. Wolf said. "Good work!"

President Donald Trump, in a characteristically free-wheeling speech Saturday night, tossed out an unspecified allegation about Montana Democratic Sen. "Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust.the so-called comedian really 'bombed, '" Trump tweeted.

After scholarships and awards were given out, Wolf took the stage to deliver a bawdy and sometimes scathing send-up of not just Trump, but a list of targets spanning politics and media.

Wolf responded in less than 24 hours after the dinner to explain her position to the critics.

Wolf cracked jokes about the president's lawyer paying off a porn star to keep quiet about an alleged affair ("It's 2018 and I am a woman, so you can not shut me up-unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000") and Trump's disputed financial troubles ("Trump is so broke.He looked for foreign oil in Don Jr.'s hair").

That might be true in Washington - where some prominent journalists joined Trump administration aides in criticizing Wolf's raunchy jokes.

"I like Sarah, I think she's really resourceful".

That barb was directed at Michelle Wolf, who provided the after-dinner entertainment for the White House press corps and their guests, and whose performance was surprisingly racy.

Ahead of the rally Trump said in a fundraising pitch that he had come up with something better than being stuck in a room "with a bunch of fake news liberals who hate me".

"You guys are obsessed with Trump", the comedian told the assembled journalists. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you.

"I'm never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders", Wolf also said last night.

The correspondents' dinner supposedly celebrates the rapport that journalists have with the people they cover.

Wolf, according to the commentariat, violated a sacred standard of decency that defines the correspondents' dinner every year.

For years, comedians have "roasted" the president and his staff as a part of the meal but U.S. President Donald Trump chose not to attend the last two years and White House press secretary was there in his place this year.

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