Trump strikes jesting note at Washington press dinner

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The security clearance of Kushner was recently downgraded. Turning to his daughter, he said, "Ivanka, you've got to do something!" "We finally have it running like a fine-tuned machine".

Dubbing his audience at the white-tie gala "really quality people", he noted that it had been "another calm week at the White House" - a week that saw the departure of Trump's confidant Hope Hicks and financial irregularities surrounding son-in-law Jared Kushner and the ongoing investigation into his campaign.

Trump's aides had apparently anxious he might not be prepared for event's the self-deprecating tone, but he said the opposite was true.

"You can't be impeached when there's no crime!"

As he began his remarks, Trump told reporters: "We really looked forward to this - well, maybe not".

Long the subject of barbed tweets from President Donald Trump, members of the Washington press corps sharpened their wits for musical and rhetorical takedowns of the president, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and others Saturday night at the annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation. "I offered him a ride over and he recused himself", Trump said, according to a White House press pool report.

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Towards the end of his speech, Trump talked about Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrival. This, of course, was a parody of the Supremes' "You Can' Hurry Love" that poked fun at Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Trump said were all working together on DACA. "I'm a NY icon, you're a NY icon, and the only difference is, I still own my buildings". "I am accomplishing a lot in Washington and have never had a better time doing something, and especially since this is for the American People!"

On Steve Bannon: "That guy leaked more than the Titanic".

He called Fox News the fourth branch of government.

"After all, you the New York Times are an icon". The former White House public liaison chief turned reality TV star again found herself in the president's crosshairs after one more jab at Bannon. I like turnover. I like chaos. "If you went to the Gridiron last night, which I did and others did, he was very relaxed, he was self-deprecating, he had some very good humorous lines".

He added, "Now the question everyone keeps asking is, 'Who's going to be the next to leave?"

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He then attempted to fix any inference that the first lady might leave him by praising her for the job she's done and by saying "she's actually having a great time". He suggested they were good for "dying industries" whose executives have asked the White House for protection.

But it might be too late, he said, for "print media". Trump referenced prior comments Biden made about wanting to take him out behind a barn.

At the closed-door event, where filming was prohibited, Trump also discussed more somber issues like North Korea, saying he was open to direct talks with its leader, Kim Jong Un.

"As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that's his problem, not mine", Trump said.

"Now we are talking and they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago".

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