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"Ivanka, you've got to do something!" Aides described Hicks as a calming influence on the often volatile Trump, a quality that will be missed after her departure.

US President Donald Trump was warmly received by members of what he calls the "fake news" media on Saturday night at a light-hearted gala that is one of Washington's longest-running traditions.

President Donald Trump on Saturday night traded humorous jabs with a cabal of lawmakers, administration officials, media figures and military officers at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington.

"If I've learned anything in the 14 months here in Washington, on the White House, it's that there's all sorts of malicious leaks" created to "hurt us", said Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro on Fox News Sunday, commenting on claims of mutiny over new proposed tariffs.

Over the last month, the White House has seen the dismissal of Staff Secretary Rob Porter over spousal abuse allegations and reports - denied by Trump and others - that national security adviser H.R. McMaster is on his way out. He said spending the evening with them was the best time he'd had since watching their faces on election night.

"Nobody does self-deprecating humour better than I do", said Mr Trump, who skipped last year's bash.

"That guy leaked more than the Titanic", Trump said of Bannon.

On former aide Omarosa Manigault: "Somehow, we're still doing great even without Omarosa".

Waters has been insisting that Congress open an investigation to find something on which they can impeach Trump (and after that, she says, she'll "go after" Pence). It's loving, you meet great people, wonderful people like yourselves. "By the way, Omarosa, you're the worst!"

Noting that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) regularly calls for his impeachment, Trump said, "And I say - and I get in trouble for this - 'she has to immediately take an IQ test, ' and people go insane". So I like turnover. [Adviser] Steve Miller or Melania?' ... Who's going to be the next to leave?

He was joined on the dais by his wife Melania and the most controversial joke of the evening involved her.

Trump also brought up his controversial decision to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, saying they would help "dying industries".

"North Korea dangled a meeting in hopes of the vice president softening his message, which could have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics", said Nick Ayers, Pence's chief of staff. "Trump referenced prior comments Biden made about wanting to take him out behind a barn", Walker wrote.

"And I just don't understand why everyone on the internet and in the media keeps screaming, "Hashtag Free Melania, Free Melania".

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, the Republican speaker, talked about a previous banquet: The 2011 correspondents dinner, in which then-President Barack Obama roasted Trump for his political ambitions and his persistent questioning about Obama's birthplace. "Elizabeth Warren", Walker added at the end of the pool report. "Trump accused Rep. Adam Schiff of leaking to the press about the Russian Federation probe".