House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) issued a series of jokes at the expense of President Donald Trump while speaking at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York City. The annual event is thrown by the Archdiocese of New York to raise money for Catholic charities serving needy children. In the past, the dinner has been known for politicians poking fun at themselves and their colleagues. It is a white-tie affair to which wealthy patrons are invited to dine. It was hosted by Cardinal Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

When stepping up to the microphone, Ryan bade the audience to hold their applause. He said, “Enough of the applause. You sound like the Cabinet when Donald Trump walks in the room.”

Going further, Ryan also mocked President Trump's use of Twitter to communicate. “Every morning, I wake up in my office and I scroll Twitter to see which tweets that I will have to pretend that I did not see later on,” Ryan said.

Ryan also made jokes about Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who according to a report by NBC had called Trump a “moron.” The Speaker also referred unproven allegations of ties between Trump's political organization and Russian influencers during the 2016 presidential campaign, and also to remarks Trump made at last year's Al Smith dinner. At the time, attendees jeered then-candidate Trump for using the dinner as a platform for criticizing his opponent, Hillary Clinton. At the dinner, he vowed to have her prosecuted. “I know last year at this dinner Donald Trump offended some people with his comments, which critics said went too far,” Ryan said. “Some said it was unbecoming of a public figure and that his comments were offensive,” Ryan continued. “Well, thank God he’s learned his lesson.”

Alfred E. Smith was the first Catholic to run for the presidency. A Democrat, he served as governor of New York in the 1920s. 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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