WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump has announced he will skip this year’s White House Correspondents’ Annual Dinner, breaking a 36-year norm.
“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year,” the president tweeted on Saturday. “Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”
The annual Washington gathering has hosted every sitting president since Calvin Coolidge at least once since its 1921 founding.
Trump’s decision not to attend the dinner comes after his repeated criticisms of the press as “fake news” and accusing some outlets of being “enemies of the people.” Several news outlets publicly stated they were rethinking their attendance at the dinner amid Trump’s unprecedented attack on the news media.
Trump attended the dinner in 2011, in which he was famously lampooned both by then-President Barack Obama and the evening’s entertainer, comedian Seth Meyers, for his false public assertions that Obama was not born in the United States.
This year’s dinner, which also funds a scholarship program run by the association, is scheduled for April 29.