President Donald Trump Will NOT Attend White House Correspondents’ Dinner
President Donald Trump has announced he will skip the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on April 29.
The event draws celebrities, journalists and politicians, normally including the president.
Donald Trump said he would not attend the event a day after the White House excluded several major broadcasters and newspapers from a press briefing.
The president has frequently described negative news coverage as “fake”.
However, he has not provided any evidence for his claims.
The announcement comes as relations between the White House and some media outlets continue to deteriorate.
On February 24, the CNN, Buzzfeed, BBC and the New York Times were among media groups barred from an off-camera informal briefing held by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Hours before the briefing, President Trump had delivered a strong attack on what he called “fake news” in the media, targeting stories with unnamed sources.
He said “fake news” was the “enemy of the people”.
President Trump announced his non-attendance at the correspondents’ dinner via Twitter, writing: “I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”
Bloomberg News and the New Yorker magazine are among media outlets who have said they will not hold their usual after-parties this year.
There have been some calls for journalists to boycott the event itself.
According to the New York Times, every sitting president since 1924 has attended the correspondents’ dinner at least once.
They traditionally make a light-hearted speech at the annual event. Former President Barack Obama attended eight times.
Donald Trump has been a regular at the dinner in the recent past.
In 2011, Barack Obama joked that Donald Trump would turn the White House into a casino if he became president and made fun of rumors, then propagated by Trump, that President Obama was not born in the United States.
Donald Trump was shown on camera sitting stony-faced through a barrage of jokes at his expense, including some from host Seth Meyers, although he said last year that he “loved that dinner”.
Many believe that the 2011 event fuelled Donald Trump’s desire to enter politics and later run for office.
In a statement the White House Correspondents’ Association said it took note of President Trump’s announcement and said the dinner would “continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic”.