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President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday morning that he will, once again, be a no-show for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, an annual tradition that is intended to bridge the gap between the press corps and the administration.
Trump, who skipped the 2017 and 2018 dinners but had not previously announced his 2019 plans, told reporters on Friday that he is skipping this year’s dinner — held on April 27 — because the event is “negative” and “boring.” Instead, he will host a political rally.
The White House Correspondents’ Association, which runs the fundraising dinner, had intended to lower the political temperature by booking a historian, Ron Chernow, as the keynote speaker, rather than a caustic comedian as in past years. But, it wasn’t enough to sway Trump’s attendance.
Last year, the dinner was attended by at least two key members of the Trump White House, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway. Both were mocked heartily by comedian Michelle Wolf.
Asked if she has made a decision about attending the event, Sanders told The Hollywood Reporter last week, “nothing yet.” Conway did not respond when asked if attending the event.
While the president was a no-show last year, his administration had a strong presence at the weekend’s festivities. An annual Friday night event at the home of Atlantic Media founder David Bradley was attended by Conway, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
The president of the WHCA has not yet responded to an emailed requested for comment on Trump’s snub.
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