- REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
- House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke at the annual Al Smith charity dinner Thursday night. He jabbed President Donald Trump in a series of jokes about Russia, Twitter, and the White House. Trump caused controversy and received boos at the event last year.
“Enough with the applause,” Paul Ryan told the crowd at the annual Al Smith charity dinner on Thursday night.
“You sound like the Cabinet when Donald Trump walks into the room.”
The House speaker took multiple lighthearted jabs at the president during his keynote speech, hitting him for his Twitter use, Cabinet turnover, and the turmoil in Washington.
“Every morning, I wake up in my office and I scroll through Twitter to see which tweets I will have to pretend I didn’t see later on,” Ryan said. “Every afternoon, former Speaker John Boehner calls me up, not to give advice, just to laugh.”
The crowd was full of New York’s elite politicians, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many New York liberals, this many Wall Street CEOs, in one room since my last visit to the White House,” Ryan said.
One of the speaker’s best-received jokes came at the expense of a story Trump has repeatedly denied and labeled “fake news” – that his secretary of state called him a “moron” after a charged meeting.
Speaking about this year’s host, the actress Patricia Heaton, Ryan described her as a “Hollywood Republican.”
“That is an oxymoron,” Ryan said. “Which clearly was the word that Rex Tillerson was searching for.”
Watch some of Ryan’s routine below:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 20, 2017
The charity dinner is named after the first Catholic nominated for president and raises money for children in need.
Trump, then the Republican presidential nominee, spoke at the dinner last year and got some boos for his pointed attacks against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, who also attended.
“Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate commission,” Trump said at one point. “How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate commission? Pretty corrupt.”
Ryan addressed last year’s controversy in his remarks Thursday night.
“I know that last year Donald Trump offended some people,” Ryan said. “I know his comments, according to critics, went too far. Well thank God he’s learned his lesson.”