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Indian-American comic Hasan Minhaj mocks Donald Trump at White House Correspondents’ Dinner

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-04-2017 Lalit K Jha

Washington: As he made fun of President Donald Trump, Indian-American stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj said that one has such a freedom only in a country like the US because of its commitment to freedom of speech enshrined in its Constitution.

Minhaj, 31, whose parents hail from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, delivered a memorable entertaining speech at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner which for the first time since 1981 was not attended by the US president.

The young comedian made fun of Trump for his perceived proximity with the Russians, his attack on the media and several of his campaign rhetoric. “We gotta address the elephant that’s not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. And that’s because he lives in Moscow, it is a very long flight. It’d be hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can’t just make it on a Saturday! As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke,” Minhaj said amidst laughter from the audience.

“Trump tweets at 3 am sober. Who is tweeting at 3 am sober? Donald Trump, because it’s 10 am in Russia. Those are business hours,” he added. Minhaj also made fun of several top officials of the Trump administration.

“Jeff Sessions couldn’t be here tonight, he was busy doing a pre-civil war re-enactment. On his RSVP, he just wrote ‘NO’. Just ‘no’, which happens to be his second favourite n- word,” he said. “Is Steve Bannon here? I do not see Steve Bannon. I do NOT see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon. Not-see Steve Bannon,” he said.

He said Betsy DeVos couldn’t be here, she’s busy curating her collection of children’s tears. “Mike Pence wanted to be here tonight, but his wife would not let him because apparently one of you ladies is ovulating. So good job, ladies. Because of you we couldn’t hang out with Mike Pence,” he added.

“Donald Trump is liar-in-chief. Remember, you guys are public enemy number one. You are his biggest enemy. Journalists, ISIS, normal-length ties,” Minhaj said as he went on to make fun of the media. “It is amazing to be among the greatest journalists in the world, and yet, when we all checked into the Hilton on Friday we all got a USA Today. Every time a USA Today slides underneath my door, it’s like they’re saying, ‘Hey, you’re not that smart, right?’ USA Today is what happens when the coupon section takes over the newspaper. Is this an article about global warming or 50 cents off Tide? Either way, the pictures are so pretty!” he said.

“Fox News is here. I’m amazed you guys even showed up. How are you here in public? It’s hard to trust you guys when you backed a man like Bill O’Reilly for years. But it finally happened. Bill O’Reilly has been fired. But then, you gave him a $25 million severance package. Making it the only package he won’t force a woman to touch,” he said.

“I know some of you are wondering, Hasan, how do you know so much about Fox News? Well as a Muslim, I like to watch Fox News for the same reason I like to play Call of Duty. Sometimes, I like to turn my brain off and watch strangers insult my family and heritage,” he added.

As he mocked Trump several times, he said that the president would be tweeting about him at 3 am. “It’s 11 pm in four hours, Donald Trump will be tweeting about how badly Nikki Minaj did at this dinner. And he’ll be doing it completely sober. And that’s his right. And I’m proud that all of us are here to defend that right, even if the man in the White House never would,” Minhaj said.

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