Comedian Michelle Wolf offered a succinct, withering reply to President Donald Trump’s early Wednesday attack on her by drawing attention back to his continued support for Saudi Arabia in the face of a report linking the kingdom to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi—after his clear attempt to distract from the matter.
After Trump claimed Wolf had “bombed so badly” in her viral remarks at the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) dinner last year, Wolf suggested that the president would likely have come to her defense if she’d killed a journalist, as Saudi Arabia has admitted it did—with the CIA reporting that Trump ally Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) likely ordered the murder—instead of simply telling the truth about his administration.
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) November 21, 2018
Wolf’s tweet also included a reference to First Lady Melania Trump’s #BeBest campaign, aimed at combating bullying on social media.
The president’s tweeted comments on Wolf came hours after he issued a two-page statement declaring that Saudi Arabia’s admitted killing of Khashoggi is of no consequence as the U.S. continues supplying the kingdom with billions of dollars in weapons—remarks that were quickly denounced as “delusional” and “imbecilic” by critics.
While political observers expressed shock at the president’s callous dismissal of the CIA’s conclusion about MbS’s involvement, Trump attempted to move on from the issue entirely by attacking Wolf’s performance from half a year ago—until she directed attention back to Khashoggi’s killing.
So-called comedian Michelle Wolf bombed so badly last year at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that this year, for the first time in decades, they will have an author instead of a comedian. Good first step in comeback of a dying evening and tradition! Maybe I will go?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) November 21, 2018
Wolf was far from the first comedian to roast a sitting president at the WHCA dinner, but her jokes about Trump’s personal financial troubles, his lawyer’s payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign, and the corporate media’s complicity in the president’s lies struck a chord with both the administration and the press—while Trump critics praised her scathing speech.
In an apparent response, the WHCA scrapped the traditional comedic roast this week and invited presidential biographer Ron Chernow to speak at next year’s event, in a speech that’s expected to touch on reporters’ First Amendment rights—a move that led Wolf to denounce the organization as “cowards” while asserting that she “couldn’t be prouder” of her performance.