President Donald Trump swapped one Washington for another Saturday, pointedly opting to connect with American "deplorables" in a MI town rather than exchange barbs at the "phony" White House correspondents dinner.
"The president encouraged his staff to attend and so we did, we felt like it was important", said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a red carpet interview with CNN.
"It's 2018 and I'm a woman so you can not shut me up". After one crass joke drew groans in the Washington Hilton ballroom, she laughed and said, "Yeah, shoulda done more research before you got me to do this". What's Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Ah I Know, Aunt Coulter'. I have no agenda I'm not trying to get anything accomplished, so everyone that's here from Congress, you should feel right at home'.
Meanwhile, conservatives reacted with outrage to Wolf's humor before her routine had wrapped up, particularly her jokes about Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway. "On the outside she looks sleek, but the inside, it's still full of shit".
Before Wolf delivered the keynote she said she wished Trump had come to the event.
"I'm never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders".
Opening her monologue: 'Like a porn star says when she's about to have sex with a Trump, let's get this over with.
Wolf's routine outraged numerous president's allies, with Spicer labelling it a "disgrace" on Twitter, and assistant to the president, Mercedes Schlapp, writing she was "appalled" by the routine.
Wolf, host of The Break premiering in May on Netflix, held absolutely nothing back, though she was just feet from the White House Press Secretary. Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders?
Spicer also commented on Twitter: "Tonight's #WHCD was a disgrace".More news: Red Sox activate SS Bogaerts, place INF Holt on DL
Unlike in years past, there were no A-list Hollywood celebrities at the dinner. "It's gonna be a great night both here and in MI".
Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels's attorney, said he thought Wolf was "really amusing".
Moments later Avenatti spoke to the network, blasting Trump for failing to attend.
And Mike Pence was told to check it out " Mike Pence if you haven't seen [the Handmaid's Tale], you would love it". "Like, I think you might be rich in Idaho, but in NY you're doing fine".
"I'm 32 years old, which is an odd age". He posted on Facebook this week that he'll be at a Saturday night rally in MI with his "favorite deplorables" a term Hillary Clinton used in 2016 to describe some Trump supporters.
The star power dimmed appreciably past year when Mr Trump, who routinely slammed reporters as dishonest and their work as "fake news", announced he was not attending.
Trump's aides skipped last year's dinner, when some accompanied Trump to a rally in Pennsylvania where he celebrated his 100th day in office.
Noting that Mr Trump seemed impervious to many putdowns, Wolf said she would instead attack the president for being less wealthy than he claimed, leading the crowd in a call-and-response segment where she would say "Trump is so broke" and the crowd would respond "how broke is he?"
Trump, last year, became the first president to skip the event since Ronald Reagan in 1981; Reagan was recovering from an assassination bid.
He spoke to a large crowd in Total Sports Park in a campaign style rally. Its the second White House Correspondents Association dinner in a row without Trump. These people, they hate your guts. and you've got to smile. Unfortunately while they were down there they also took his balls'.