Donald Trump turns President Obama's mockery into an actual talking point about dealing with Putin: "I had a major event in Russia ... Miss Universe contest"

At the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Obama joked that Trump's only qualification is meeting Miss Azerbaijan

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published May 6, 2016 4:01PM (EDT)

Donald Trump pulled off a very rare move over the weekend. He dodged an event full of cameras and celebrities for a chance to sit out the spotlight.

Shocking, I know. The professional ham turned actual major party presidential "presumptive" nominee is hardly one to shy away from attention, but as he painfully learned in 2011: When the cameras on you, but President Obama has the microphone -- it's bound to be a rough ride. Of course, his rare avoidance of Saturday's annual White House Correspondents' Dinner turned out to be a wise choice.

“The Republican establishment is incredulous that [Trump] is their most likely nominee – incredulous, shocking,” Obama joked last Saturday.

“They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But, in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan":

"About Russia," Fox News' Bret Baier asked Trump on Thursday after all 16 of his Republican presidential rivals had dropped out of the race, leaving the former reality TV star as the "presumptive" nominee of the Republican Party. "[Y]ou were asked yesterday if you’ve ever spoken to Vladmir Putin. And you said, 'I don’t want to say'."

"Yeah, I have no comment on that," the usually blustery billionaire(?) said to cut off Baier.

"But one of the things people like about you is that you answer any question," Baier reminded Trump.

"I know Russia well," Trump limply offered. "I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago," he began to explain, "Miss Universe contest which was a big, big, incredible event. Incredible success. I got to meet a lot of people."

I guess you can make up the absurdity of it all.

When asked about President Obama's swipe at his foreign policy experience on Monday, Trump claimed, "I probably have more experience than virtually anybody looking at this office."

[H/T: Steve Benen, The MaddowBlog]

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Comedy Donald Trump Fox News President Obama Video Vladimir Putin White House Correspondents' Dinner