President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, after a campaign and early tenure during which he has continually battled with the press.
“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
The formal event raises money for journalism scholarships and is held every spring. Most years it is attended by the President, journalists, celebrities and some important Washington insiders.
The last time a President skipped one of these dinners was when Ronald Reagan was recovering from getting shot in 1981. Even then, he called in to say a few words.
Before Trump announced that he was not going to attend, several news organizations had already stated they would not be attended in protest of Trump’s treatment of the media.
Even pre- and post- parties have been canceled by The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Bloomberg.
Most of the major news organizations have not yet announced their official plans but according to some, many are rethinking their plans to attend after the White House blocked CNN and The New York Times among other news outlets from a WH briefing on Friday.
The President of the White House Correspondents Association, Jeff Mason, stated to CNN that Trump’s decision doesn’t come as a shock considering he has repeatedly labeled the press as “the enemy of the American people.”
“That of course, is something that the correspondents’ association and journalists reject,” he said.
“The media is an incredibly important part of a vibrant republic, and we celebrate that at that dinner.
“It’s up to him to decide whether or not he wants to come,” Mason said. “But the correspondents’ association and the members who work in this room every day will continue to do our job and write the news and tell the truth about this administration, as we have done about every administration before.”