WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump sort-of answered the question that’s been bandied around Washington for weeks: Will he go to the White House correspondents’ dinner?
“I probably won’t do it,” he said in a radio interview on WABC that aired Friday morning. His reason, which was the same as last year, was animosity toward the media. (“So bad and so fake,” Trump said in the interview.)
But shortly afterward, the White House Correspondents’ Association, which hosts the annual black-tie affair, put to rest any drama that Trump’s “probably not” might have stirred up. The White House told the organization that Trump wouldn’t attend the April 28 affair, and that press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would “represent the administration” and sit at the head table, association president Margaret Talev said in a statement.
And unlike last year, when members of the Trump administration also skipped the dinner in solidarity with their boss, Trump “will actively encourage” executive branch folks to go, Talev said.
So any media organizations angling for a Cabinet member at their table might just have a shot (wrangling A-list guests is practically a sport among the media organizations that attend the dinner).
Trump remains the only president since Ronald Reagan to skip the dinner (and Reagan had a pretty good reason: He had been shot).
But offering an indication that he’s not completely unwilling to go along with social traditions, Trump did attend this year’s Gridiron dinner, a far smaller gathering of a club made up of top Washington journalists.
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