Late night talk show host Seth Meyers says it may have been former President Obama's biting performance at the 2011 White House correspondents' dinner that drove Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE to run for office.
In an interview on NBC's "Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist” Meyers joked that the former president's jokes targeting Trump at the dinner "took it too far" and might have inspired the real estate mogul to mount his own White House bid four years later.
"I think it was probably because of President Obama. I think I'd blame him," Meyers told Geist. "I feel like he took it too far. The whole time Obama was going I was like, 'This isn't fair. You're going to make this guy run for president and this will be 100 percent on you.'"
During his speech at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association dinner, Obama roasted Trump, who had the time was the host of the "Celebrity Apprentice" reality TV show and one of the leading figures in the so-called "birther" movement.
“No one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald,” Obama said at the dinner. “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?”
But Meyers, who was hosting the dinner that year, also savaged Trump, rattling off a series of jokes aimed at the real estate mogul's claim that was considering a White House run.
"Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican — which is surprising since I just assumed that he was running as a joke," Meyers joked at the time.
Throughout Meyer's routine, Trump could be seen glaring at the comedian from his table, appearing stone-faced and unamused with the jokes.
That sparked speculation that Meyers and Obama had been the driving force behind Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, though the real estate mogul has denied that notion, telling "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy that he "had a great time" at the dinner.
"It was fun. And I enjoyed it," he said. "And I left and I told the press — they all said, did you have a good time? And I said it was fantastic. The next day I read, ‘Donald Trump felt terrible about the evening.’ I loved the evening."