Trump calls Gridiron gala ‘great fun’

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was an enjoyable presidential debut at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner for Donald Trump, who dished out pointed one-liners and endured some barbs from political rivals and the press.

The gala was “was great fun,” he tweeted Sunday.

During his remarks Saturday night, the president largely put aside his criticism of the media.

“Nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do,” said Trump, who skipped last year’s bash. He also said: “I was very excited to receive this invitation and ruin your evening in person. That’s why I accepted.”

The annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation, now in its 133rd year, traces its history to 1885, when President Grover Cleveland refused to attend. Every president since has come to at least one Gridiron.

“Rest assured, Mr. President, this crowd is way bigger than Cleveland’s,” Club President David Lightman, congressional editor for McClatchy News, told the white-tie audience.

A sampling of Trump’s speech:

— on his son-in-law: “We were late tonight because Jared could not get through security.”

— on Vice President Mike Pence: “He is one of the best straight men you’re ever going to meet … he is straight. Man.”

— on Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “I offered him a ride over and he recused himself. What are you going to do?”

— on The New York Times: “I’m a New York icon. You’re a New York icon. And the only difference is I still own my buildings.”