Trump cheered at Michigan rally, roasted in absence at correspondents' dinner

A crowd in Michigan chanted "Nobel" at Trump, while in D.C. the annual correspondents' dinner went on without him.
by Phil Helsel, Jonathan Allen and Dennis Romero /  / Updated 
Image: US-POLITICS-TRUMP
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Total Sports Park in Washington, Michigan on April 28, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

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In two locations in different parts of the country on Saturday, cheering crowds chanted "Nobel" at President Donald Trump for progress in talks between North and South Korea, and the commander-in-chief was roasted in absentia at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

The dueling events — Trump's campaign rally in Washington Township, Michigan, and the annual black-tie affair at a hotel in Washington, D.C. — followed last year's pattern when Trump skipped the correspondents' dinner to hold a rally in Pennsylvania.

But this year, the president's rally comes amid recent talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which has been said to hold the possibility of deescalating tensions in the region following nuclear and missile tests by the North.

At the Michigan rally, supporters chanted "Nobel," referring to the peace prize, and Trump chuckled and said "That's very nice, 'Nobel,'" and "I just want to get the job done."

At the correspondents' dinner in Washington, D.C., comedian and former "Daily Show" contributor Michelle Wolf joked that she doesn't believe Trump is as wealthy as he claims, and also joked about his previous controversial remarks about women.

"Trump is so broke," she said as part of a call and response, "he has to fly failed business class."

But Wolf also had plenty of jokes about the media in attendance. "He's helped sell your papers and your books and your TV. You've helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off of him."

"It's 2018, and I'm a woman so you cannot shut me up — unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000," Wolf said, referring to a payment made by Trump's attorney to adult film actress Stormy Daniels what she has described as a one-time sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, which Trump has denied.

While Trump was not in attendance, a cartoon portraying the president made fun of his reputed penchant for fast food and his inclination to seek affirmation at friendly rallies to open the show.

If Trump was going for contrast between the rally in Michigan and the White House Correspondents' dinner, he hit the mark with the venue and fare.

Rather than the ornate but cramped ballroom of the Washington Hilton, his fans waited in line to get into a hangar-like facility called Total Sports in the other Washington — Washington Township, Michigan.

While the menu at the correspondents' dinner included roasted beet baklava salad and seared monk fish, the Trump rally offered submarine sandwiches — turkey, ham or Italian — a bag of chips and bottled water poured into a styrofoam cup (with no ice).

Instead of a red carpet, they stood on synthetic grass under a ceiling of metal beams and a tarpaulin-like material. And instead of tuxedos and ball gowns, the informal dress code here is jeans, fall jackets and MAGA gear.

At Saturday's rally in Michigan, Trump bashed the media as "fake news" and "dishonest" and returned to the themes of his presidential campaign, pledging to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and vowing “We're going to finally put America first."

Claiming a large measure of credit for inter-Korean talks held this week, Trump told the crowd "I had one of the fake news groups this morning, they were saying, 'what do you think President Trump had to do with it?"

"I'll tell you what — like how about 'everything,'" Trump said. The crowd cheered.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attended the correspondents' dinner.

"I actually really like Sarah," Wolf said. "I think she's very resourceful. Like 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. It's probably lies."

Saturday was the second year in a row that Trump as president skipped the correspondents' dinner. If he ever plans to attend in the future, it did not show as he riled up the crowd in Michigan before the event.

"Is this better than that phony Washington White House Correspondents' thing? Is this more fun?" Trump told the crowd. "I could be up there tonight, smiling like I love where they're hitting you shot after shot, these people they hate your guts."

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