After the notorious performance last year by comedian Michelle Wolf, who was roundly criticized from all sides for crossing a line in her attacks on White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Correspondents' Association announced Monday that, for the first time in years, it would not feature a comedian at its annual dinner.
Wolf responded to the news by declaring that she "couldn't be prouder" after forcing the WHCA to reveal themselves to be "cowards."
President Trump, who ripped the event and Wolf's performance last year, celebrated the WHCA's announcement and took another swipe at the "so-called comedian" on Tuesday.
"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," he tweeted. "Good first step in comeback of a dying evening and tradition! Maybe I will go?"
Wolf hit back with a reference to the Jamal Khashoggi murder. "I bet you'd be on my side if I had killed a journalist," she wrote.
The controversy over Wolf's performance revolves around her comments about Sanders, which took shots at her appearance and included a racially charged reference, all delivered with Sanders sitting there calmly in the Washington Hilton ballroom.
"I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful," said Wolf. "But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. It’s probably lies. And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? What’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know. Ann Coulter."
Full transcript of her remarks about Sanders via ABC:
And of course, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We are graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in 'The Handmaid’s Tale.' Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it.
Every time Sarah steps up to the podium I get excited, because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get. You know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. 'It’s shirts and skins, and this time don’t be such a little b----, Jim Acosta!'
I actually really like Sarah. 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.
And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know. Ann Coulter.
Even members of the left-leaning media thought Wolf had crossed the line, including one of Trump's most ardent critics, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. "Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable. I have experienced insults about my appearance from the president. All women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology," she wrote.
But Wolf was unapologetic. "Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials," she wrote in response.
Rather than attend the event last year, Trump decided to hold a campaign-style event in Michigan, where he made sure to mock the dinner. "I could be up there tonight smiling, like, I love when they’re hitting you, shot after shot," he said. "These people, they hate your guts and you know, you gotta smile. And if you don’t smile they’ll say, 'He was terrible. He couldn’t take it.’ And if you do smile, they’ll say, 'What was he smiling about?!' You know, there’s no win."
After the event, Trump slammed the "filthy 'comedian'" and declared the official demise of the dinner.
"The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy 'comedian' totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over!" he tweeted.
"The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for. FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!" he wrote.