- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump attended a black-tie, invitation-only dinner Tuesday evening in Washington where guests, including about 200 foreign diplomats, mingled with key members of the next administration.

In a speech to the roughly 500 guests at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Mr. Trump touted Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in attendance with his wife Karen Pence.

“Oh, I had a couple of beauties I could have picked. They were good too, but maybe wouldn’t have worked out like Mike,” he said. “So I want to thank Mike and Karen, and I want to thank all of the people in the room.”

The affair, where TMZ reported that guests had a choice of beef or fish with several gourmet side dishes, was dubbed the Chairman’s Global Dinner.

Mr. Trump singled out Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO who was grilled in a Senate confirmation hearing this week and is a top target for Senate Democrats seeking to derail nominees.

“We have a man that I wanted right from the beginning, Rex Tillerson,” said Mr. Trump, as he strained against the spotlight to find him in the crowd. “Where’s our Rex? Wow. What a job. Thank you very much. Thanks Rex.

“I think it’s tougher than he thought,” Mr. Trump continued. “He’s led this charmed life. He goes into a country, takes the oil, goes into another country. It’s tough dealing with these politicians, right?”

The president-elect also gave a shoutout to Bikers for Trump, a group of bikers that organized rallies and marshaled support for Mr. Trump in battleground states during the campaign.

Bikers for Trump will be holding rallies in Washington during the inauguration Friday.

“I saw the Bikers for Trump — boy they had a scene today. I don’t know if I would want to ride one of those, but they do like me,” he said. “That’s like additional security with those guys, and they’re rough. And they get on that Harley — usually [a] Harley — made right here in America. And they had a scene today where they had helicopters flying over a highway someplace in this country. And they had thousands of those guys coming into town.”

Mr. Trump is scheduled to return to New York later Tuesday night.

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