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Biden with Trump jokes and words of warning

The press dinner in Washington is a tradition – as is the appearance of the US President. This year, Joe Biden came up with Trump jokes and warnings. And protests against Biden's Middle East policy formed outside the doors.

Accompanied by loud protests, US President Joe Biden exhorted the media to play their role in democracy at the traditional press gala dinner in Washington. “I'm certainly not asking you to pick a side,” he told the audience at the Correspondents' Dinner in Washington.

“I ask you to recognize the gravity of the moment.” Everyone must contribute “to ensuring that American democracy endures.”

A swipe at Trump

Much of his speech took up swipes at his likely Republican opponent in the upcoming presidential election, former President Donald Trump. Even though the two are similar in age, they have little else in common. “In any case, my vice president supports me,” said Biden, referring to Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence, who refused to support him this time.

Biden also joked against the Trump criminal case related to hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels. “Donald has had a few tough days lately. You could say stormy weather,” Biden said, alluding to Daniels' first name, which translates to “stormy.”

The Republican is currently in court in New York almost every day. The prosecution accuses him of wanting to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election by paying Daniels $130,000.

Event with more than 100 years of tradition

The Journalists Association of Correspondents Accredited to the White House has been organizing the gala evening for 100 years. The president is usually a star guest – only Trump never attended during his term in office. In addition to journalists and high-ranking government members, there are always some Hollywood stars present. This year, actress Scarlett Johansson, among others, was in the audience. She is married to comedian Colin Jost, who took over the traditional entertainment part of the evening.

Protest against Gaza war

The event was accompanied by loud protests against Biden's Middle East policy. Outside the hotel where the dinner was taking place, demonstrators called on members of the press and celebrities to boycott the event. Several Palestinian journalists had previously called for this in an open letter to their US colleagues.

The demonstrators criticized, among other things, the reporting of some media in the United States and also lamented the deaths of journalists in the conflict. Protesters who met Biden at the back entrance of the hotel called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Biden has been followed for months by demonstrators who sharply criticize US support for Israel. The president is repeatedly greeted with cries of “genocide” and calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

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