The Latest: Trump, press trade good-natured if barbed jokes

March 4, 2018

President Donald Trump gestures as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington with first lady Melania Trump, Saturday, March 3, 2018, as they return from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the annual Gridiron Dinner (all times local):

11:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump and his political allies and opponents found common ground with the Washington press corps Saturday night, taking and giving humorous jabs at the annual Gridiron Dinner.

In his first Gridiron appearance, Trump assured the audience that “nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do.” The president also cracked on his embattled son-in-law, Jared Kushner, saying, “We were late tonight because Jared could not get through security.”

On Vice President Mike Pence, Trump said he’s proud to call him “the apprentice.” On Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the president said, “I offered him a ride over and he recused himself.”

To The New York Times, Trump remarked that they shared status as New York icons but “the only difference is I still own my buildings.”


7:15 p.m.

Members of the Washington press corps are sharpening their wits for musical and rhetorical takedowns of President Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and others.

The annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation is marking its 133rd anniversary Saturday night. The charitable organization contributes to college scholarships and journalistic organizations with an evening of humorous give-and-take between the press and the people they cover.

Trump accepted an invitation to this year’s dinner, his first. The event traces its history to 1885, the year President Grover Cleveland refused to attend. Every president since has come to at least one Gridiron.

In remarks released ahead of the event, the club’s president, David Lightman, congressional editor for McClatchy News, assured the president that the crowd was “way bigger than Cleveland’s.”


4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expected to roast — and be roasted by — some of his favorite targets at the annual Gridiron dinner Saturday night.

The dinner is a premier event for Washington media and features a good-natured if tart given-and-take between Washington officials and the people who cover them.

This will be Trump’s first Gridiron as president and marks a change from last year when he avoided that dinner and the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Just hours before the dinner, Trump fired off a tweet at the national press saying: “Mainstream Media in U.S. is being mocked all over the world. They’ve gone CRAZY!”

Trump linked to a story by a conservative pundit saying Trump and his family are victims of “unparalleled” attacks by the press.

Update hourly