Looks like President Donald Trump will skip the annual White House correspondents’ dinner for the second time since taking office in January 2017.
But unlike last year, he’s encouraging his aides to attend.
Margaret Talev, the association’s president and a reporter for Bloomberg News stated that:
“The White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year’s dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment.”
She added that Sarah Huckabee Sanders will attend the April 28 event and will represent the administration at the head table. The White House didn’t respond to the Times’ request for comment. Trump isn’t the first president to decline to attend this dinner, and while vice presidents usually do appear, Huckabee Sanders’ planned appearance suggests Pence may be absent as well.
Trump hardly has what could be called a friendly relationship with the press, even though he clearly wants attention from the media, and even counts a few reporters among his friends. Even so, he routinely attacks journalists, calling their stories “fake news.” He tells his supporters not to trust the media whenever someone writes a story he doesn’t like.
His decision not to attend last year’s dinner and hold a rally instead, seemingly as a form of protest, caused a stir.
The annual event is meant to honor the work of D.C.’s journalists, with scholarships and awards handed out. Over the years it’s become a celebrity event, attracting comedians like Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and Bill Maher. Lasting a whole weekend, several spots around Washington, D.C., honor the event. Comedian Michelle Wolf is hosting this year, and it’s likely she’ll needle Trump.
It’s customary at this event to poke fun at sitting presidents. But Trump is a notable sourpuss and when President Obama mocked him as a celebrity guest at the dinner in 2011 because of his insistence that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and therefore not a legitimate president, Trump sat with a blank expression on his face.
Things were a bit quieter last year, with Trump’s absence, and with his obvious dislike of the media, but many of those who attended say they were glad to see the dinner take on a more somber tone. But some were also disappointed that Trump didn’t attend.
And up until Trump’s interview with WABC Friday morning, speculation flew as to whether Trump would be there. Or not.
But he put that to rest.
“Pretty unlikely. I won’t do it.”
“I sort of feel like the press is so bad and so fake. n many cases they literally make up stories.”
But just like anything Trump says, that statement is mostly fake news.
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Featured image by News Hollywood via YouTube Video