President Donald Trump amped up his war with the liberal mainstream media on Friday by banning CNN and The New York Times and several other outlets from the attending the daily press briefing.
Then, he took it a step further, although the second move was less of a surprise than the first. He tweeted Friday evening:
"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!"
The annual event held in Washington, D.C., in April has been referred to by members of the press corps as "nerd prom." Tickets to the lighthearted black-tie event are among the most coveted in the capital.
The White House had been signaling for weeks that the growing animosity between the administration and the media—which Trump called "enemies of the American people"—would likely result in his skipping the event. The president's tweet just guaranteed he won't be in attendance.
The White House Correspondents' Association announced a short time later the event will go on as planned 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," the organization's president, Jeff Mason, said in the statement. "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."
The dinner has traditionally been a "roast" of the president and the media involving a big-name comedian and the president. But in 2011, when Trump was considering a run against President Barack Obama, he found himself the target of several of the jokes from both the president and comedian Seth Meyers.
He was visibly unhappy with the situation.
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