Donald Trump announced Saturday afternoon that he will not be attending the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, D.C.
One day after the White House announced it had barred CNN, The New York Times, Politico and several other major media outlets from a media "gaggle" in the White House leading to angry protests from the press and several threats of boycotts of future media briefings, in a tweet the president said he will pass on the journalism scholarship benefit dinner in April traditionally attended by major media outlets, celebrity guests and the president and vice president.
"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!" he wrote on Twitter.
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
His refusal to attend comes amid reports that media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have been considering skipping the event at the Washington Hilton. Trump's move comes in the heat of his ongoing battle with the media, which he has labeled the opposition party and "fake news."
Trump isn't the only one canceling on one of Washington's biggest press nights. Bloomberg, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair previously canceled their after-parties. As Axios notes, some have questioned whether the event will still go on as planned, but news organizations' strong interest in tickets for the April 29 dinner suggests that the night will remain sold out, as always.
Various prominent political correspondents promptly responded to Trump's announcement:
The dinner, a major fundraiser for an organization that represents the free press covering the WH, will go on--and be a success, I'm sure. https://t.co/i9dhTZ6ja7— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 25, 2017
Jeff Mason, the White House Correspondents' Association president, issued the following statement:
WHCA statement on 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner pic.twitter.com/mMOXaozwHj— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) February 25, 2017
A high-profile comedian usually hosts the event in which the president is roasted by the comedian and the president roasts the media. The annual dinner began in 1920, and was scheduled to take place on April 29 at the Washington Hilton.