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Hasan Minhaj’s best moments from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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Hasan Minhaj
Hasan Minhaj

Members of the head table applaud as Hasan Minhaj, a correspondent with “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” finishes his performance at the annual dinner.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian American comedian Hasan Minhaj sought to use his title as host of this year’s White House Correspodents’ Dinner to make one thing very clear: President Donald Trump’s attendance was not required for him to be roasted.

The event marched on Saturday without the President in the gallery. Instead, President Trump boarded Air Force One en route to Harrisburg, Pa., to surround himself with cheering supporters at a campaign-style rally, not attending the sold-out dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Minhaj, the son of immigrant parents from India, welcomed members of the media as “minorities.”

Here are a few of his best moments from Saturday night:

Minhaj recalls false claims that Obama was Muslim

“Who would have thought that, with everything going on in the country now, that a Muslim would be standing on this stage for the 9th year in a row.”

Minhaj pays tribute to master roaster Don Rickles

“I would say it’s an honor to be here, but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant. It’s how it always goes down. No one wanted this gig. No one.

“Don Rickles died just so you wouldn’t ask him to do this gig. R.I.P. to Don Rickles, the only Donald with skin thick enough to take a joke like that.”

Donald Trump

President Trump spoke at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg instead of attending the WHCA dinner.

Minhaj wonders who’s really running the United States

“The leader of our country is not here, and that’s because he lives in Moscow. It’s a very long flight. It would be hard for Vlad to make it. It’s a Saturday.”

“As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke.”

Minhaj takes a few shots at Trump’s adult children

“For the nine people watching on C-Span, there was also another elephant in the room but Donald Trump Jr. shot it and cut off its tail.”

Minhaj addresses Syria

“Historically, the President usually performs at the correspondents’ dinner, but I think I speak for all of us when I say he’s done far too much bombing this month.”

Minhaj notes that Vice President Pence also skipped the dinner

“Mike Pence wanted to be here tonight, but his wife wouldn’t let him because one of you ladies is ovulating.”

Minhaj unloads on Fox News for employing fired Bill O’Reilly for so long

“You gave him a $25 million severance package, making it the only package that he won’t force a woman to touch.”

Minhaj tells the media to rebuild trust

“We live in a strange time where trust is more important that truth. Supporters of President Trump trust him and I know journalists, you guys, are definitely trying to do good work. I just think that a lot of people don’t trust you right now. Can you blame them?

“Unlike Anderson Cooper’s bone structure, you guys have been far from perfect. Remember election night? That was your Steve Harvey-Miss University moment. The look on your faces at 11 p.m. on election night — it was like walking into Panera Bread and finding out your teacher has a part-time job there.”

Minhaj gives the media more advice

“In the age of Trump, I know that you guys have to be more perfect than ever. Because you guys are how he gets his news. Not from advisers, not from experts, not from experts or intelligence agencies, you guys.

“So that’s why you have to be on your a-game. You have to be twice as good. Because if one of you messes up, he blames your entire group. And now you know what it feels like to be a minority.”

He’s just kidding

“By the way, you guys aren’t really minorities. You’re all really white.”

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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