Donald Trump Ditches White House Correspondents' Dinner Again

Casey Dawson
April 9, 2018

President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents Association Dinner this year, continuing a boycott that began his first year in office, the White House announced on Friday, but the president will "actively encourage" members of his administration to go in celebration of the First Amendment. Last year, he became the first president to skip the dinner in 36 years.

"The message underscoring it is one of participation this year, and I think that's a good thing", Talev said Friday, reports Politico. "Now in some cases there's sources, but then they won't do it correctly either".

This year, the dinner will honor Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, who Trump called "a Hillary flunky" who didn't know anything about him.

The announcement came just hours after Trump told the hosts of the 77 WABC Radio show Bernie and Sid that he "probably won't do" the dinner.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will represent the administration at the head table - a spot typically reserved for presidents and first ladies, WHCA President Margaret Talev said in a statement.

Last year, Trump bailed - opting to hold a campaign-style rally on the same night as the soiree.

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In February, an unexpected jump in wage growth set off inflation alarm bells and caused stocks to plunge . The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 29.63 points, or 1.9 per cent, to 1,513.30.

Presidents traditionally attend the dinner, which offers a standing invitation to the occupant of the White House.

Since taking up the presidency, Trump has strongly favoured news outlets that provide glowing coverage such as Fox News, The Daily Caller, Newsmax.

The dinner is an opportunity for the USA leader to speak informally, with former USA president Barack Obama notably using the gala to show off his comedic talent.

The decision to delay the May summit with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council reflects a crowded diplomatic calendar, and the fact that President Donald Trump is without a secretary of state until the Senate confirms current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, two of the officials said. He did, however, telephone well wishes and a few jokes during the dinner.

"It's been a really calm week at the White House", Trump deadpanned after a flurry of departures and other controversies rocked the White House.

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