House Speaker Paul Ryan has largely avoided public criticisms of President Trump, but he hit the president with some zingers during a comedic address at a New York charity dinner Thursday night.
"Enough with the applause," Ryan told the elite crowd dressed in tuxedos and dinner gowns. "You sound like the Cabinet when Donald Trump walks into the room."
Ryan was the keynote speaker at the 72nd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Smith was the first Catholic to win a major party's presidential nomination and was known for his biting sense of humor. The event encourages speakers to "poke fun at a political issue, an opponent, or themselves."
More from USA Today:
Trump repeats claim 'wacky' Wilson lied about call to Army widow
'Spinning in his grave': Obama jokes about his confederate relative
Graham and Cassidy support short-term Obamacare fix
Trump and his opponent Hillary Clinton exchanged barbs at last year's event, although some of Trump's material went too far for some of the audience who booed the then-candidate.
"I know last year that Donald Trump offended some people," Ryan said. "Some said it was unbecoming of a public figure and they said that his comments were offensive. Well, thank God he's learned his lesson."
Ryan said a lot of people ask him, "What's it like to work every day with an abrasive New Yorker, with a loud mouth?"
"But, you know, once you get to know him, Chuck Schumer's not all that bad," he deadpanned.
"Every morning I wake up in my office and I scroll through Twitter to see which tweets I will have to pretend I didn't see later on," Ryan quipped. "Every afternoon former Speaker John Boehner calls me up, not to give advice, just to laugh."
"The truth is, the press absolutely misunderstands and never records the big accomplishments of the White House," Ryan said. "Look at all the new jobs the president has created — just among the White House staff."
Ryan also predicted reactions his speech was likely to get.
"When you read the papers tomorrow, everyone's going to report this thing differently," he said. "Breitbart is going to lead with: 'Ryan slams the president among liberal elites.' The New York Times is going to report: 'Ryan defends the president in a state Hillary won.' And the president will tweet, '300,000 at Al Smith dinner cheer mention of my name.'"
About 815 people attended the event.
Contributing: Associated Press