President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, which is scheduled for April 29th. Trump revealed his decision on Twitter Saturday afternoon saying, “I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”
Following Trump’s announcement, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, issued a statement that dinner would continue even without the President’s attendance, the Washington Post reports.
President Trump has had an increasingly difficult relationship with the media and press. Since Trump became President, he has frequently lambasted several major news outlets including calling CNN “fake news.” Also, earlier this month Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people,” during a campaign rally in Florida.
Moreover, the White House blocked several media outlets including CNN and the New York Times from attending a press briefing.
The White House Correspondents’ Association is a group of journalists who cover the White House and the President. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner started in 1920, and over fifteen presidents have attended at least one dinner starting with Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The Washington Post reports the White House Correspondents’ Association awards $100,000 in scholarships and has recently launched a mentoring program for aspiring journalists.
Trump has attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in the past. In 2011, former President Barack Obama poked fun at Trump at the dinner with five minutes of jokes directed at the then-star of Celebrity Apprentice.
“For example, no seriously, just recently in an episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks,” Obama said. “And there was a lot of blame to go around but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the problem was a lack of leadership and so ultimately you didn’t blame Little John or Meatloaf — you fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well-handled, sir. Well-handled.”