President Donald Trump has turned down an invitation to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for the second consecutive year.
Trump announced the news on Friday morning in an interview with the Bernie and Sid radio show in New York City.
“I sort of feel that the press is so bad, it’s so fake, it’s so made up,” Trump said, accusing the media of making up sources for their stories. “I call them novelists, they make up the sources, in some cases there are sources, but then they won’t do it correctly either but in many cases, they literally make up sources.”
Trump reminded the hosts that the WHCD dinner was a “massive failure” after he skipped it last year for a political rally but he did not rule out a future appearance.
“I just think I want to get it straightened out with the press before I go,” he said.
The news was confirmed by White House Correspondents Association President Margaret Talev in a statement to members.
“The White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year’s dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment,” Talev said. She confirmed that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would represent the Trump administration at the dinner.
The news broke on Friday morning as rumors flew in Washington, DC that the president might attend the dinner, which takes place on April 28.
Organizers for the dinner already picked comedian Michelle Wolf to entertain the guests, a contributor to the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
In 2017, Trump turned down an invitation to the dinner and hosted a political rally in Pennsylvania instead.