US President Donald Trump to again snub White House correspondents' dinner

US President Donald Trump to again snub White House correspondents' dinner

The White House provided a statement to CNN confirming the news, but said other members of the administration would be present, including Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "The April 28 dinner celebrates award-winning reporting, scholarship winners and the vital role of the First Amendment and the free press in American democracy".

The announcement comes as President Trump slammed the press in a fiery interview on WABC Friday morning, saying it was "pretty unlikely" he would be attending the elite dinner.

(The Gipper called in from his hospital bed.) There was buzz around a Trump appearance at this year's event after he delivered a monologue at the Gridiron Club gala in March, but that event was not televised.

Calling the media "so bad" and "so fake", he said: "I want to get it straightened out with the press before I do it". Just hours after the WHCA announced the president's decision, he tweeted, "Do people really believe this stuff?"

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Trump also skipped last year's edition of "nerd prom", becoming the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to sit out the event where journalists and politicians dress up and listen to jokes about the president.

Trump, who frequently criticizes the national news media, often targets negative news stories about his administration or outlets that cover his presidency critically as "fake news". "So much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!" Last year, he became the first president to skip the dinner in 36 years.

Traditionally, the president attends the event, which typically includes a comedic routine at their expense.

He rented Capitol Hill accommodation from the wife of an energy lobbyist a year ago at the below-market rate of US$50 per day and used taxpayer funds for first-class travel. In 2011, former President Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers both used their speeches to poke fun at then-reality TV personality Trump. "I'm very excited to come here and ruin your evening in person".

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