May 1, 2011— -- Donald Trump said today he was "honored" to be the butt of so many jokes at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, where he was lampooned for everything from his fixation on President Obama's birth certificate to his infamous hair.
"Look, I knew what I was getting into, it's the lion's den," Trump told ABC News' David Kerley today.
Trump has been very publicly flirting with a run for the Republican presidential nomination, and one thing he said he liked about the roasting he took was that none of his potential competitors for the GOP nod got much attention.
"I've been there before over the years and I've never seen anything like took place last night, because so much of a focus was on me," he told Kerley. "They didn't mention other candidates, at least not with any great steam.
"I was actually very honored by the way I was treated," he said. "They treated me with great respect, they joked and they clowned, but I was the topic of conversation and that's perhaps not so bad."
After being pounded by Trump for weeks about such things as his birth certificate and whether he had the academic record to get in to Harvard, President Obama turned the tables on the real estate mogul and reality TV star Saturday night.
"I know that he's taken some flak lately, but nobody is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," the president said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Trump sat smirking among the laughing and sometimes uncomfortable audience.
"All kidding aside, we all know about your credentials and experience," the president said, winding up his next barb. "In an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' ... the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. You, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. So ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf, you fired Gary Busey.
"These are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled," Obama said.
This week Obama released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii to address all doubts that he is an American-born citizen, but at the Correspondents' Dinner the president made sure he put all lingering questions to rest.
"Tonight for the first time I am releasing my official birth video," the president said, before showing the crowd clips of the "The Lion King," an animated feature that takes place in Africa. In the lower right-hand corner of the footage was the president's birthday as an apparent time-stamp.
Before introducing the president, Seth Meyers, the head writer for "Saturday Night Live," served as the evening's featured entertainer and took his turn mocking Trump.
"Donald Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising because I just assumed that he was running as a joke," he said.
"Donald Trump often appears on Fox, which is ironic because a fox often appears on Donald Trump's head," he said to the crowd's nervous laughs.
The White House Correspondents' Association was formed in 1914 to serve as a liaison between the press and the president, and the dinner is often attended by celebrities and politicians alike -- former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, actress Scarlett Johansson and musician Will.i.am were in attendance.
This year the association gave out more than $100,000 in scholarships for journalism students and honored ABC News' Jake Tapper, The Washington Post's Dan Balz, The New York Times' Peter Baker and The Seattle Times' Michael Berens.