Trump skips White House press dinner


Trump becomes first POTUS to skip White House correspondents’ dinner in over 30 years

Donald Trump will not attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, a high-profile event that draws celebrities, politicians and journalists.

The announcement marks a break with an annual tradition where the US president is the guest of honour.

It came as Mr Trump lashed out as some media, calling some “fake news” and “the enemy of the people”.

“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

The annual black-tie event – which was created in 1921 – raises money for journalism scholarships, presents awards and gives the press and the president an evening of mutual appreciation.

The current strained relationship between the President and the press has escalated over the last few weeks, culminating in Mr Trump’s latest attack.

Some news outlets such as Bloomberg News and The New Yorker, which usually host lavish after-parties, had also backed out of this year’s event.

The dinner “has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic,” said Jeff Mason, a Reuters White House correspondent who heads the association this year.

During the event, presidents are typically expected to poke fun at themselves for the benefit of the press corps.

In 2011 President Obama used his speech to address the disproved claim that he wasn’t born in the US.

Directly addressing Mr Trump – a regular at the event thanks to his reality star status – he said: “No one is happier to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald.

“And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing?”

Close ups on Mr Trump in the audience showed his stony faced response to the one-liners.

Mr Trump did not attend last year’s dinner, where Mr Obama was the honoured guest, prompting jokes from the former president that he may have stayed at home to tweet, or eat.