Trump Shuns Establishment 'Board Meeting'

President Donald Trump will not attend the annual Alfalfa Club dinner Saturday night that is often referred to as the 'board meeting of America's establishment', Kellyanne Conway confirmed to Politico that Trump will not attend the exclusive black-tie dinner - and White House roast - that every president since Ronald Reagan has attended.

As Politico notes, the swanky event gathers various elements of the Washington elite to toast the new administration - as well as fire a few barbed jokes at the new president. The event is closed to reporters, so the ribbing tends to be more biting.



President Trump's name is in the program, seated between Michael Bloomberg and Chief Justice Roberts.

But in a shot at the swamp, Trump isn't coming.

 Rather than hobnobbing with senior politicians, billionaire donors and media titans, Trump is expected to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone on Saturday.

 

There had been speculation that Trump might attend the dinner as a way to show that he’s ready to rub shoulders with the Washington establishment.

 

Presidents since Reagan have not gone every year, but they've all gone at least twice. Bill Clinton was the only president to skip the dinner days after his inauguration in 1993, but he showed up in 1994.

Instead of the president himself, a squadron of senior administration officials and Trump family will attend, including Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.

As Axios reports, the 750 guests tonight include Warren Buffett, Tim Cook, Jamie Dimon, Bill Gates, Bob Gates, Vernon Jordan, Charlie Rose, Jeb Bush, James Baker and plenty more moguls and grandees. The head table, stretching across a giant ballroom, includes the Cabinet, the congressional leadership and the cream of the diplomatic corps.