Members of the Trump administration walked out of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night after comedian Michelle Wolf ripped into White House staffers including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the absence of the president himself.
A year after the White House boycotted the annual dinner — and with President Donald Trump holding a competing campaign-style rally in Michigan — director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp and her husband, conservative activist Matt Schlapp, were among those who marched out of the ballroom at the Washington Hilton long before Wolf’s keynote routine was over.
Footage broadcast live on cable TV networks showed Sanders sitting at the head table on stage stone-faced, wincing and at times raising her eyebrows as Wolf compared her to a character on the dystopian “Handsmaid’s Tale” and to an “Uncle Tom” for white women.
“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 smokey eye,” Wolf joked about Sanders. “Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”
It was a risque and uneven routine at first met with laughs but often greeted by awkward silence. Wolf laced into the president and repeatedly brought up his comments from the “Access Hollywood” tape. The performance evinced memories of when Stephen Colbert savagely satirized the Bush administration in 2006.
Wolf opened her act with the line, “Good evening, here we are at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner; like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with Trump, let’s get this over with,” the first of many bawdy insults.