Donald Trump says White House Correspondents dinner is ‘dead’ after comedian’s barbs cause controversy

Donald Trump has called for the White House Correspondents dinner to be "put to rest" after a divisive comedy routine caused some to walk out during the performance. 

The US president said this year’s event was "an embarrassment to everyone associated with it" as he hit out at the "filthy comedian" who attacked him and his staff.

Mr Trump, who boycotted the event for a second year, tweeted on Monday: "The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for. FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!"

It followed a previous tweet in which he said "put Dinner to rest, or start over!"

The post-dinner act by Michelle Wolf split opinion, with some saying the crude jokes went beyond poking fun while other argued the comedian was simply speaking truth to power.

In particular the comedian came under fire for her barbs at Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, which many interpreted as attacks on her personal appearance. 

Michelle Wolf has split opinion over her jokesCredit:

Wolf said: “I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. 

"Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies."

Turning to Ms Sanders, who attended in place of the president, she added: "It’s probably lies”.

Ms Sanders did not respond but could be seen looking stony-faced.

Sarah Sanders appeared stony faced as the comedian directed her jokes towards herCredit:

Some White House aides at the event chose to leave early, saying the performance demonstrated the media bias against the Trump administration.

Wolf has denied she took aim at Ms Sanders looks, and said "all these jokes were about her despicable behaviour".

The routine also included jabs at reporters and news organisations themselves but the most pointed barbs were met with a mixture of laughter and uncomfortable silence from the audience of journalists and guests.

For almost a century, it has been a tradition for the president to attend the annual dinner and have fun poked at them.

But Mr Trump has skipped the event since his election, choosing this year to hold a political rally for supporters in Michigan instead.

In an email to its members on Sunday night it "expressed regret over the controversy the after-dinner act had provoked".

Margaret Talev, head of the association, said the night was "meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honouring the civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people".

"Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission," she said.

Ms Talev said the association recognised the concerns adding that Olivier Knox, its next head, was "committed to hearing from members on your views on the format of the dinner going forward."

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