Comedian Michelle Wolf on Monday stood by her performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner after drawing criticism from journalists and President Donald Trump.
“I mean, I’m honestly — I wouldn’t change a single word that I said,” Wolf told NPR in her first interview since the dinner on Saturday. The interview is scheduled to air Tuesday. “I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns.”
Wolf’s performance drew criticism from a number of journalists, with the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Margaret Talev issuing a statement on Sunday saying the comedian’s monologue was “not in the spirit” of the dinner.
Trump, who did not attend the dinner, criticized Wolf and the dinner over the weekend and on Monday.
“The so-called comedian really ‘bombed,’” Trump said of Wolf on Twitter on Sunday.
The president tweeted on Monday that the dinner was “dead” and “was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for.”
But Wolf, best known as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” said she believed that people expected her to be nice because she is a woman.
“I think — I don’t know, maybe I’m projecting this — but I think sometimes they look at a woman and they think, ‘Oh, she’ll be nice,’” she said, “and if you’ve seen any of my comedy you know that I don’t … pull punches. I’m not afraid to talk about things. And I don’t think they expected that from me.”
Wolf was specifically called out for the comments she made about press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who attended the dinner. Wolf compared Sanders to Aunt Lydia, a character on the dystopian TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and also called her an “Uncle Tom” for white women.
In the NPR interview, the comedian said that people should have the ability to laugh at themselves.
“There’s plenty where you could look back and the camera was on Obama when people were making pretty aggressive jokes about Obama, and he was laughing,” Wolf said. “And I think having the ability to laugh at yourself is important.”
Wolf went on to say she believed that Sanders attended the dinner as a protest and was not there to celebrate the news media. For example, Wolf said, Sanders did not stand up and congratulate reporters who got awards, specifically those from CNN.
“I would say if this is about celebrating the media,” Wolf said of Sanders, “she wasn’t there to celebrate the media.”