The House Speaker, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, poked fun at President Donald Trump during a charity dinner that has historically encouraged speakers to crack jokes. While the Wisconsin lawmaker took jabs at himself and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority of his quips were aimed at the White House.
On Oct. 19, Ryan took to the podium as a keynote speaker at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City. The annual charity event, hosted by New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has historically been a venue for politicians to gently mock their colleagues, The Associated Press reports.
Ryan began jesting with the commander-in-chief from the outset when he told attendees to quiet down their applause.
"Enough with the applause ... You sound like the Cabinet when Donald Trump walks into the room," Ryan said.
Ryan also joked about the makeup of the Trump administration senior staff.
"I don't think I've seen this many New York liberals, this many Wall Street CEOs in one room since my last visit to the White House," Ryan quipped before ribbing Schumer.
"I know why Chuck has been so hard on President Trump," Ryan continued. "It's not ideological; Chuck is just mad he lost his top donor."
Before entering politics, Trump had donated more to Schumer than any other politician. Between 1996 and 2010, Trump contributed roughly $9,000 to Schumer's congressional campaigns, according to Business Insider.
Ryan also referenced the controversy that followed Trump's own appearance at the previous Smith Foundation Dinner. In October 2016, Trump spoke at the charity event alongside former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump had drawn boos from attendees when he said Clinton was "pretending not to hate Catholics."
"Some said it was unbecoming of a public figure and they said that his comments were offensive," Ryan said of Trump's keynote performance. "Well, thank God he's learned his lesson."
The House speaker also joked about his public relationship with Trump, referencing how he had previously been asked to defend or condemn controversial statements made by the president on social media.
"Every morning I wake up in my office and I scroll through Twitter to see which tweets I will have to pretend I didn't see later on," Ryan said.
While Ryan was drawing laughs from attendees, he also drew protesters outside of the charity event. Roughly 150 protesters demonstrated outside the hotel where the dinner was held, blasting Ryan for supporting Trump's immigration policies, The New York Times reports.