Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi welcomed senior members of the new administration to the 132nd annual Gridiron Dinner Saturday with a pointed joke about President Donald Trump's Russia troubles.
"I know that the rituals of the Gridiron can be formal, so I want to greet them in a way they're more familiar with: Nasdrovia!" Pelosi said. "Speaking of … we were told that Jeff Sessions intended to be here tonight, but I understand he had to recuse himself. Excuse! Excuse."
Though Vice President Mike Pence came armed with jokes of his own, Trump skipped the traditional white-tie dinner which features music, skits and humorous remarks from senior government officials that roast politicos on both sides of the aisle. But Trump's absence only provided more comedic fodder for Pelosi, who poked fun at her own party's nominee while focusing the majority of her punch lines on the president.
"Does the president know you're here, laughing it up with the enemies of the American people?" Pelosi asked Pence, who arrived in black tie. "It's okay, Mr. Vice President, people here can keep a secret. This isn't the White House."
Here are few more of Pelosi's best zingers:
I am sorry the president couldn't join us. I understand that he is in the Situation Room, monitoring an urgent matter that demands his full attention: "Saturday Night Live."
Sense and Incivility
This White House has more drama among rich people than a Jane Austen novel. In fact, I'm told the Secret Service code names for President Trump and Bannon are "Pride" and "Prejudice."
This president has appointed so many people from Goldman Sachs to high positions that there's nobody left to listen to Hillary's speeches.
But don't you love D.C. in March? The sun starts to shine, and we can finally see all the emoluments. I'm sorry, the monuments.
Vice President Pence recently mixed up the Israeli and Nicaraguan flags.
We've all used the wrong emoji before. But moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Managua? That's going a little too far.
Don't worry. In the words of the ancient Hebrew proverb: "No problemo. Esta bien."
And the Winner Is...
The president is paranoid that Hollywood is against him — and you know everything's all about him. As for the Academy Awards, he thought the nominated films were all documentaries:
Fences was about his immigration policy.
Arrival was about his travel ban.
La La Land was about his first month in office.
And Hidden Figures was about his tax returns.
Pence, too, made a topical joke about the Oscars, referencing the Best Picture screw-up in which "La La Land" was announced as the winner only to have "Moonlight" revealed as the real victor.
"They gave out the Best Picture award to the wrong film. I gotta tell you, we haven't seen that many shocked Hollywood liberals since, I don't know, November the eighth?" Pence joked.