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white house correspondents dinner 2017

President Donald Trump has attacked the US media during a rally marking 100 days in office.

Donald Trump told supporters in Pennsylvania that he was keeping “one promise after another”, dismissing criticism as “fake news” by “out of touch” journalists.

He decided to skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – the first president to miss the event since an injured Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Earlier, big rallies were held against Donald Trump’s climate change policies.

At the rally in Harrisburg, Donald Trump said the media should be given “a big, fat, failing grade” over their coverage of his achievements during his first 100 days and told the cheering crowd he was “thrilled to be more than 100 miles from Washington”.

The president quipped that at the same time “a large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling themselves” at the correspondents’ dinner “that will be very boring”.

Image source Getty Images

Until now, late President Ronald Reagan was the last leader to miss the annual dinner, as he was recovering from an assassination attempt in 1981.

Turning to his election pledges, President Trump said the first 100 days had been “very exciting and very productive”.

Donald Trump said he was “delivering every single day” by: ending “jobs theft” and bringing them back to the US from overseas; easing regulations on energy exploration, including halting a “war on coal”; pulling out of international deals not beneficial to the US, including the Trans-Pacific Patnership.

The president also said the administration of Barack Obama had resulted in “a mess”, stressing that he was ready for “great battles to come and we will win in every case”.

On climate change, Donald Trump said “a big decision” would be taken within the next two weeks.

He earlier described climate change as a hoax, vowing to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.

Ahead of the speech, tens of thousands took part in protests across the US against the Trump administration’s stance on climate change. The People’s Climate March was timed to coincide with the 100th day of his presidency.

In Washington, the demonstrators marched from the Capitol to the White House.

Organizers said they wanted to put the climate debate firmly on the agenda for next year’s midterm elections.

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”.

Image source Getty Images

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”.