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Obama burns Trump in final correspondents' dinner speech

US President Barack Obama mocked both Democrat and Republican presidential candidates in his eighth and final appearance at the White House correspondents' dinner - with Republican front-runner Donald Trump at the receiving end of his most pointed barbs.

"The Republican establishment is incredulous that he's their most likely nominee," Mr Obama told attendees at the dinner, which included journalists, A-list celebrities and politicians.

"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" the President continued, to laughter from his guests, referring to the Miss Universe pageant that Mr Trump had formerly co-owned.

The President also targeted Mr Trump's claims to be a top businessman, adding: "And there's one area where Donald's experience could be invaluable, and that's closing Guantanamo - because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground."

Mr Obama then took aim at the Republican establishment, which has expressed dismay at the prospect of Mr Trump or Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz winning the party's nomination to run in the November 8 Presidential election.

"Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish, but instead a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan," Mr Obama said, referring to the top Republican in the House of Representatives who some hoped could be persuaded to run for president.

"Last week Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face."
President Obama
Continuing his trademark tongue-in-cheek address, Mr Obama predicted the country may be doomed.

"The end of the republic has never looked better," the President joked, a jibe directed at Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus who was in the audience.

"Congratulations on all your success. The Republican party, the nomination process - it's all going great", Obama told Priebus.

Mr Obama also joked about his recent official visit to Kensington palace. "Last week Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face."

The President acknowledged his own years in the White House had taken their toll.

"I'm grey, grizzled… counting down the days to my death panel," he said.

He pointed out his approval ratings were up, but said he couldn't explain the rise in his popularity - as photographs of Mr Trump and Mr Cruz appeared on screens. 

In the more serious part of his speech, The President thanked the White House press corps and praised a free press.

He finished his address saying: "I just have two more words to say: Obama out", before dropping his microphone on stage.

Famous faces in attendance this year included singer Aretha Franklin, actor Morgan Freeman and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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