Comedian Who Called Trump 'White ISIS' Will Perform at WH Correspondents' Dinner

Hasan Minhaj / Getty Images
April 11, 2017

The White House Correspondents' Association announced on Tuesday that comedian Hasan Minhaj will perform at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner.

The WHCD is where the White House and members of the media get together and joke about one another. The dinner is often referred to as "Nerd Prom." This year the dinner will be missing its biggest guest: President Donald Trump announced in February that he will not be attending the dinner.

Trump is the first president to skip the event in decades. Vice President Mike Pence and the rest of the White House staff also announced they will not attend to show "solidarity" with the president.

Minhaj, who is a senior correspondent for the satirical news show "The Daily Show," released a statement saying he was honored to have been picked.

"It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD! Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press," Minhaj said.

Minhaj has been vocal about his opposition to Trump. Back in 2015, Minhaj called Trump "White ISIS" in response to Trump's proposed Muslim ban.

"One-third of a political party in America is backing a racist maniac," Minhaj said. "This place is scary right now. And that's why Trump said we can't have any Muslims in the U.S., until we figure out what the hell is going on."

He then compared Trump's campaign to how ISIS came to power.

"I have a second theory, and I think this is where the evidence points: Donald Trump is an extremist leader who came out of nowhere. He's self-financed, recruits through social media, attracts his followers with a radical ideology to take over the world, and is actively trying to promote a war between Islam and the West," Minhaj told "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah.

"Oh my god, Hasan," Noah realized. "He's white ISIS."

"Donald Trump is white ISIS," Minhaj agreed. "WISIS."

Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, was thrilled that Minhaj was picked to perform at the dinner.

"I am thrilled that Hasan will serve as our featured entertainer at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner," Mason said. "Hasan's smarts, big heart, and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media."

Mason added that the the WHCA did not want someone who would roast an absent Trump.

This won't be Minhaj's first show for political insiders. Last year, Minhaj performed for the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner.

His performance was not well received, according to People magazine. Minhaj was criticizing people in the room for their inaction on gun control legislation, and those in the room were not laughing.

"As Minhaj spoke, the C-SPAN broadcast cut several times to the black-tie-attired dinner audience shifting uncomfortably in their seats, checking their phones–doing anything but laughing," People reported.

This year's dinner is set to happen on Saturday, April 29th.