- The comedian Michelle Wolf responded to President Donald Trump’s criticism of her by delivering a gibe about his response to the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- Trump pummelled her performance at last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner as he welcomed the news that a comedian would not perform at the next event, ending a years-long tradition.
- Trump said the convention ended because “Michelle Wolf bombed so badly last year.”
- In response, Wolf mocked the president for standing by Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi’s death. “I bet you’d be on my side if I had killed a journalist,” she said.
The comedian Michelle Wolf has responded to President Donald Trump after he criticised her performance at the most recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner, taunting him over his response to the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump celebrated the end of a long tradition of having a comedian perform at the event by saying the convention was broken because “Michelle Wolf bombed so badly last year.”
In response, Wolf wrote: “I bet you’d be on my side if I had killed a journalist. #BeBest,” appearing to use the slogan for first lady Melania Trump’s anti-bullying campaign.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US and wrote for The Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month.
Trump has stood with Saudi Arabia even as evidence seemed to link top Saudi leadership to the killing. The CIA has reportedly concluded with “high confidence” that the killing was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto Saudi leader.
In a written statement Tuesday, Trump refused to blame the crown prince for the death, saying: “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
Top GOP allies criticised Trump in response.
Instead of a comedian, the biographer Ron Chernow will headline the next dinner. He wrote the book on Alexander Hamilton that was adapted into the musical “Hamilton.”
Trump said in response that he might attend the event, which he has shunned since taking office. “Good first step in comeback of a dying evening and tradition!” he tweeted on Tuesday. “Maybe I will go?”
Wolf, however, responded to the news that a comedian would not be performing by calling the White House Correspondents’ Association – the organisation of journalists who cover the White House – “cowards.”
“The media is complicit,” she wrote on Twitter. “And I couldn’t be prouder.”
Wolf’s performance last year, which included jokes about the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, elicited mixed reactions.
The next White House Correspondents’ Dinner is scheduled for April 27.