Trump attacks 'filthy' Michelle Wolf over White House dinner act
The US president has lashed out at comedian Michelle Wolf over her performance at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Donald Trump, who skipped the event for the second year, said the "filthy 'comedian' totally bombed" after she targeted him and his staff.
Wolf sparked both praise and condemnation for her scathing "roasts".
The organisation behind the annual event expressed regret at the divisiveness of the after-dinner act.
Margaret Talev, head of the White House Correspondents' Association, said the night was "meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honouring the civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people".
Among Wolf's most controversial - and often crude - takedowns was her blistering mockery of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
The former Daily Show contributor was criticised by some for commenting on Ms Sanders' appearance, comparing her to the matronly disciplinarian Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale, while others applauded her for attacking White House "lies".
Wolf has denied she took aim at Ms Sanders looks, and said "all these jokes were about her despicable behaviour".
The comic shrugged off the controversy in an interview aired by National Public Radio.
She said: "I wouldn't change a single word that I said. I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns."
Wolff added that before she took to the stage, a friend passed her a note saying: "Be true to yourself. Never apologise. Burn it to the ground."
Best moment of the night! 👏— Mayday Mindy 🌊 (@maydaymindy9) April 29, 2018
Sarah Huckabee Sanders - Aunt Lydia
Thank you Michelle Wolf
#WHCD @SarahHuckabee #piginpearls @HandmaidsOnHulu #MeToo #TheResistance pic.twitter.com/jT2ZF8O0MP
For almost a century, it has been a tradition for US presidents to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner and have fun poked at them.
But Mr Trump has boycotted the event since winning power, choosing this year instead to hold a rally for supporters in Michigan.
Read our coverage of previous dinners
Afterwards, he condemned the dinner as "an embarrassment to everyone associated with it".
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy “comedian” totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018
Some White House aides who did attend the event walked out early, saying the performance demonstrated media bias.
It’s why America hates the out of touch leftist media elite https://t.co/IaLcH5n6RF— Mercedes Schlapp (@mercedesschlapp) April 29, 2018
Other commentators defended Wolf.
But the public backlash has led some journalists to call for changes to the dinner next year.
Good lord people, it was a stand-up act. Get over yourselves. Or stop inviting comics and then acting shocked that they said something edgy.— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) April 29, 2018
In her statement, Ms Talev said the White House Correspondents' Association was recognising the industry's concerns and was "committed to hearing your views on the format going forward".