They’re with him. The White House Correspondents' Association announced on Tuesday, March 28, that the White House staff will be skipping the upcoming White House Correspondents’ Dinner in “solidarity” with President Donald Trump, who will not be attending the annual event.
"The White House informed the White House Correspondents' Association this evening that White House staff will not be attending this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner out of 'solidarity' with President Trump, who has previously announced that he would skip the event,” White House Correspondents Association president Jeff Mason wrote in a letter to members.
He continued, “The WHCA board regrets this decision very much. We have worked hard to build a constructive relationship with the Trump White House and believe strongly that this goal is possible even with the natural tension between the press and administrations that is a hallmark of a healthy republic."
As previously reported, Trump, 70, took to Twitter on February 25 to let it be known that he will not be making an appearance at the customary fete. "I will not be attending the White House Correspondents Association Dinner this year,” he wrote. “Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!"
The party (known as “nerd prom”) has been a yearly tradition since it began in 1920, and is typically attended by A-list celebrities and journalists who cover the White House and the president. Each year, an entertainer or comedian hosts the event and playfully roasts the commander in chief. During his two-term tenure as the 44th POTUS, Barack Obama attended all eight dinners.
During a February 28 appearance on Fox & Friends, Trump said that he is skipping the celebration because of his complicated relationship with the press.
“I fully understand when they hit you, but when they make stories up, when they create sources — because I believe that sometimes they don’t have sources, you know, the sources don’t exist — and sometimes they do exist. I’m not saying all sources [don’t exist]. But I believe a lot of the sources are made up,” the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host said. “A lot of the stories are made up. I believe a lot of the stories are pure fiction. They just pull it out of air.”
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