Host and comedian Colin Jost and U.S. President Joe Biden attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, April 27, 2024. Tom Brenner/Reuters

Biden warns of Trump’s threat to democracy at Washington dinner

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden poked fun at Donald Trump during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night, while seeking to portray his Republican rival as a threat to democracy six months before their rematch.

Biden’s remarks touched on many of the central themes of his campaign, including that America’s democratic institutions remain fragile and still under threat from Trump and his supporters.

Trump “promised a bloodbath when he loses again. We have to take this seriously,” the president said. “Eight years ago you could have written it off as just Trump talk but no longer, not after Jan. 6.”

The annual correspondents’ dinner brings together more than 2,600 lawmakers, journalists and other public figures for one of the capital’s biggest events of the year. Comedian Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live” headlined the dinner, held at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

Administration officials from Vice President Kamala Harris to Secretary of State Antony Blinken were in attendance, as well as celebrities such as Jost’s wife Scarlett Johansson, Jon Hamm and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, the winner of this year’s Academy Award for Supporting Actress.

Biden’s remarks come as his general-election rematch against Trump heats up. The president has been visiting key swing states in recent weeks in a bid to reverse polls that show him trailing the presumptive Republican nominee.

That travel blitz has come with his rival largely stuck in Manhattan for a criminal trial involving hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels — the first of four indictments the former president is facing.

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