Some have speculated that Donald Trump's campaign began at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner
President Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers traded took jabs at the then-host of "The Apprentice"
A number of people have speculated that the road to Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign began at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. That evening, President Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers traded off taking jabs at the then-host of the NBC reality TV show “The Apprentice.” A stone-faced Trump watched the comedy routines from the audience.
“Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising because I just assumed he was running as a joke,” Meyers said.
Trump had flirted with a presidential campaign in other election years, most notably running up to the 2000 election when he went so far as to form an exploratory committee.
The President also got in on the act, joking about Trump’s experience with difficult situations.
“You didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey,” Obama said, referring to a challenge on “The Apprentice.” “And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night.”
Democratic political strategist and CNN contributor David Axelrod recalled the night in a recent interview with CNN.
“There were a series of devastating jokes. And everyone was looking at Trump,” Axelrod said. “He seemed mildly irritated. And by the end, kind of walked out of the thing, didn’t hang around.”
Almost five years later, Trump is not only running for president, but he has been the GOP’s leading candidate for months. If he wins the nomination, he’ll have the last laugh.
Relive the Trump jokes from the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner in the video above.
CNN’s Sara Rudolph contributed to this report.