In his first time hosting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, “The Daily Show” contributor Hasan Minhaj tore into Donald Trump for being the first president in 36 years to skip the annual event. “We gotta address the elephant that’s not in the room,” said Minhaj, “The leader of our country is not here. And that’s cause he lives in Moscow,” referencing the alleged Russian influence over the US election.
Trump chose to attend a rally celebrating his first 100 days in office rather than the dinner, making him the first president since 1981 to miss it. Ronald Reagan missed the WHCD in 1981 as he was still recovering from gun shot wounds sustained during an assassination attempt a month earlier. “He’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke,” said Minhaj of Trump.
But the Commander-In-Chief wasn’t the only no-show. The event, often dubbed “Nerd Prom” failed to draw the celebrity contingent which previously flocked to the event during the Obama administration. “Now that King Joffrey is president, it feels like the red wedding in here,” joked Minhaj referencing “Game of Thrones.”
“No one wanted to do this so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant,” he joked of the gig. “Don Rickles died just so you wouldn’t ask him to do this.” Minhaj acknowledged the significance of being asked to host, adding, “only in America can a first generation Indian-American Muslim kid get on stage and make fun of the president – the orange man behind the Muslim ban.”
In addition to roasting Trump for not attending, Minhaj also took aim at the president’s fondness for Twitter rants saying, “He tweets at 3am. Sober. Who is tweeting at 3am. Sober? Donald Trump. Cause it’s 10am in Russia. Those are business hours.”
While Trump has been criticized for the amount of time he’s spent on the golf course since taking office, Minhaj implored the press to lay off saying, “do you wanna know what he’s not doing when he’s golfing? Being president. Let the man put put,” adding, “the longer you keep him distracted, the longer we’re not at war with North Korea.”
The comedian didn’t just come for Trump, he also took aim at the media for being surprised at Trump’s victory. “Remember election night? That was your Steve Harvey Miss Universe moment,” he chided, “the look on your faces at 11pm…” He also roasted Fox News for Bill O’Reilly’s 25 million dollar severance, calling it, “the only package he won’t force a woman to touch.”
While Minhaj did take some jabs at the press, he also recognized the challenging position they’ve been put in with Trump often referring to them as fake news. “When one of you messes up, he blames your entire group,” he said. “And now you know what it feels like to be a minority.”