GOP Strategist Liz Mair Claims Michelle Wolf Made Joke About Sarah Huckabee Sanders Being a 'Fat Lesbian'

Conservative commentators on Sunday continued to pan comedian Michelle Wolf's monologue at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. During an appearance on MSNBC, GOP strategist Liz Mair slammed the performer for what she interpreted as a joke equating press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders with a "fat lesbian."

Mair took issue with Wolf comparing Sanders to Aunt Lydia from The Handmaid's Tale, a character who brutalizes fellow women in service of a male-dominated regime. The joke was one of the most controversial—and most-talked about—lines of the evening.

"We are graced with Sarah's presence tonight," Wolf said. "I have to say I'm a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale. Mike Pence, if you haven't seen it, you would love it."

The comedian continued: "Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited, because I'm not really sure what we're going to get—a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. 'It's shirts and skins, and this time don't be such a little b---h, Jim Acosta!'"

The joke went on to critique Sanders's makeup, with Wolf riffing that the press secretary uses the ash from "burnt facts" to create the perfect smoky eye. Wolf never mentioned lesbianism or Sanders's weight.

Mair, an online communications director who has worked with for a roster of Republican presidential hopefuls including Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry and Rand Paul, blasted the joke and suggested there was a dig at lesbians buried within its subtext.

"Very clearly that is a comment that is about Sarah Huckabee Sanders's looks and it's not a compliment," Mair said. "It's extremely hypocritical that we're hearing from somebody of the left, [these] sort of lesbian, fat lesbian jokes when supposedly we're not even supposed to be making those."

"If you're supposed to be writing a good comedy routine you better write jokes that people can understand and don't think that you're calling somebody a fat lesbian," she reiterated. Fellow panelist Atima Omara, a Democratic strategist, pushed back against the interpretation, saying the joke was only meant to compare Sanders with a woman who works against female liberation.

Following the appearance, Mair doubled down on her original comment, writing: "I wasn't saying the joke should have been more accessible to those who hadn't read the book. I was saying it struck many who HAD read it as what I said, versus what my Dem counterpart said."

Facing intense criticism that largely divided along party lines, Wolf wrote on Twitter that people were misinterpreting the smoky-eye joke. It was meant to critique the Trump official's behavior, not her appearance, she said.

Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials.

— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018

Hey mags! All these jokes were about her despicable behavior. Sounds like you have some thoughts about her looks though? 😘

— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018