Donald Trump has further escalated his war on the mainstream media, as he announced on Saturday that he will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ dinner. Trump will be the first president to do so in 30 years.
In a tweet, Trump said that “I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”
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
The dinner, which is set to take place April 29th, is usually attended by the President and first lady, the cabinet, and large swathes of the press. Proceeds go towards scholarships for aspiring journalists, and the event normally hosts a comedian who mocks the President and other members of the press.
In a statement, WHCA president Jeff Mason said the event will go ahead as planned, saying that “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.”
In 2011, Trump was taunted by both Barack Obama and the dinner’s comedian Seth Myers about a possible presidential run.
During his act, Meyers joked that “Donald Trump has been saying he’ll run for president as a Republican, which is surprising as I just assumed he was running as a joke,” while Obama made fun of Trump’s supposed “credentials and breadth of experience” to run for president.
Trump’s no-show is another sign of the growing hostility between himself and the media, with outlets such as CNN and The New York Times today claiming that they had been excluded from a White House press briefing — something which the White House has denied.
In recent weeks, Trump has escalated his war on the media, describing their reporting as “fake news,” and adding that their attitude makes them the “enemy of the American people.”