President Trump Skipping White House Correspondents' Dinner

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which airs annually on C-SPAN, will be down at least one major guest this year.

President Donald Trump on Saturday took to Twitter to declare that he will not be attending this year’s press gala on Saturday, April 29. The announcement comes just one day after Trump banned several reputable news outlets — including The New York TimesThe Washington Post and CNN — from access to a White House press briefing, and after months of referring to various news media as “fake news.”

Trump was famously mocked by Seth Meyers back when the Late Night host presided over the WHCD. During a recent sit-down with Jimmy Fallon, Meyers described Trump as “not a guy who loves a good zinger at his expense,” and went so far as to suggest that it was his joke that inspired the former Apprentice host to run for office.

“Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke,” Meyers quipped during his April 30, 2011 hosting stint (embedded below).

In recent years, the WHCD has been hosted by The Nightly Show‘s Larry Wilmore (2016), Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong (2015), Community‘s Joel McHale (2014) and TBS funnyman Conan O’Brien (2013). As of now, there has been no host announced for this year’s affair.

Back in January, Full Frontal‘s Samantha Bee announced that she was planning a rival event — called “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” — to take place in Washington, D.C. on the same night as the actual Correspondents’ dinner. In an interview with The New York Times, Bee said that the idea came to fruition following Trump’s November victory, when she and her staff began pondering how the Correspondents’ dinner might change under a Trump presidency — “or if it would even exist.”

According to NBC News’ Bradd Jaffy, the last 15 U.S. presidents have attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Ronald Reagan, who was recovering from a 1981 assassination attempt, even managed to call into the event. Trump will be the first sitting president since 1924 not to attend the dinner.

In response to Trump’s tweet, White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason released the following statement, assuring that the dinner will go on as planned and serve as a “celebration of the First Amendment”:

The White House Correspondents’ Association looks forward to having its annual dinner on April 29. The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic. We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession.

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40 Comments
  1. Coop says:

    Well, that should put an end to various organizations threatening to sit out in protest.

    • Leah says:

      Please go read the US Constitution.

      • Coop says:

        Uh, what exactly are you implying? Oh, and I’ve read the Constitution. Fine read. I’ve probably done a lot more for it than most people too.

        • Leah says:

          And yet you have a problem with the press threatening to boycott?? After this regime is shutting them out of briefings and attempting to shut the press down?? I think you need to read the Constitution again. You clearly have no idea how vital freedom of the press is to what America is supposed to be – a democracy.

          • Coop says:

            You did a fantastic job reading a lot into my comment that wasn’t there. I don’t care whether Trump goes, doesn’t go or if the press protested the event.

            You realize that other Presidents (including the past two) have excluded certain news organizations in the same manner, right? Oh, and the United States is a Republic. I’m sure that can be read somewhere.

            If you want to see some instances throughout the world of press actually being shut down, I’d be happy to point you in the right direction! :)

    • Grey'sFan says:

      The press corps should invite Obama and Hillary in as his replacements.

  2. 333maxwell says:

    Who’s got tiny hands?

    That’s right, you Mr President..

    (psst, your insecurities are showing)

  3. Ricardo says:

    You should check your facts before reporting. President Carter did not attend in 1978.

  4. peterwdawson says:

    Figures. When you spend so much time calling news organizations one of your greatest enemies and your most recent attempts at comedy were ratings-grabbing (credit where it’s due) trainwrecks, attending a fun dinner can be asking for awkwardness.

    “Well at least now that I’m President they’ll stop making fun of me.” *opposite of that happens*

  5. Morgana says:

    Wuss. He can tell off the media on Twitter hourly but they can’t have a free shot at him. Brave stand up guy. Go have dinner with Putin that night.

  6. christopher bee says:

    That guy, what a selfloaded angsty whimsical douche. Not a single presidential bone attached, even George W. Bush had more self esteem.

  7. Katrinka says:

    Trump is that guy who can clearly dish it out, but is unable or unwilling to take it. He’s only happy in front of a adoring & cheering groups of people, hence his Florida rally/love fest last weekend. I remember watching him, as a non-candidate, when Seth Meyers hosted & he was one seriously unhappy hombre.

  8. Paul says:

    Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out Drumpf. What a douche!

  9. Anne says:

    Welcome to Fascism, America. Delegitimizing and ostracizing the media is literally in the 10 Steps to Creating a Fascist State.

  10. Lysh says:

    The show must go on! No doubt they’ll go harder in on 45 since he won’t even be in the room. Can’t wait to livestream it.

  11. Marie58 says:

    Honestly, who cares? It’s a dinner party. The Washington press schmoozes with Dem president and staff, and together they spend three hours mocking Republicans. Are they upset that Trump won’t be there so they can dis him to his face? Why does anyone care whether the president attends or doesn’t attend? IT’S A DINNER.

  12. PatriciaLee says:

    They should work on getting one answer, why did the governor have the pipeline rerouted from his property to by where the Indians lived. Then they should work on getting another answer, to another thing, and give that to the public. That should keep them busy for the next 4 to 8 years. Of course, this is in between doing what they need to in order to make money to keep things going. They, just, need to keep their spirits up with a feeling of integrity, while they do the needful to survive. imho, of course

  13. TV Gord says:

    What an insecure little man. He can’t face them on a level playing field, so he calls them fake and runs and hides. You can bet he’ll be watching, though.

  14. Edna says:

    Donald Trump deeply fears the very organization that he attacks. Trump is a show, and when the critics see the reality of the show, he can’t stand it.

  15. MMD says:

    Well of course he is not going to attend. I have never seen anyone with such thin (albeit orange) skin. He has to be cheered and revered not the subject of jokes or satire.
    I am still convinced that when he was made the brunt of a few jokes by Obama and Seth Myers that that is when he decided to run.

  16. mary says:

    This article is inaccurate. Jimmy Carter also missed one of these dinners and I believe one of the Bushes. That’s ok though, reporters aren’t required to verify facts anymore. Whether you hate or love the president, honest journalism would be so refreshing! Mr. Obama also excluded certain “news” agencies as well. He was just more polished. While Pres. Trump is loud, garrulous and hasn’t been a politician his entire life.

    • Dryheat says:

      LOL, you’re criticizing facts that you believe a journalist got wrong by providing an alternative fact of your own, silly…both Bushes attended every WHCD.

      And Reagan called into it and joked about getting shot…something our whiny man-child POTUS could never do.

  17. herman1959 says:

    No surprise.

  18. KeithH says:

    Why show up at a place where 94% of the people there hate you and actively work against your success? Good for Trump on the no-show.

  19. Pat says:

    I vote for Alec Baldwin to step in. He would be so much more funnier, then to have to listen to that dribble that would be coming out of Trump’s lying mouth.

  20. badgerly says:

    Orange coward can’t take the heat !!

  21. Superwoman says:

    Lol he needs to stop being such a lil wuss!

  22. cycworker says:

    It is just as well he isn’t going. The president is supposed to speak at the dinner. The man isn’t funny. He’s mean. Even if he was given a set of scripted jokes, he’d go off on a tangent and run the lightness & fun of the event. I think he’s skipping it to avoid embarrassing himself like he did last year, because everyone knows he can’t help himself.

  23. Temperance says:

    So, on top of all the revolting characteristics the monstrous Trump displays, we can add ‘coward’.