Trump to skip White House Correspondents Dinner - again

Posted April 09, 2018

"Honored that I'll be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner for the first time this year", she tweeted in March.

It was, however, communicated by the White House that the president will send Sarah Huckabee Sanders, his press secretary, to the event scheduled on April 28, said the country's media.

The annual dinner, a fundraiser for college scholarships and a venue for reporting awards, mixes politicians, journalists and celebrities and is typically attended by the president and first lady.

"I probably won't do it", the president said during a radio interview with a NY radio show on Friday.

He said at the time that he would "absolutely" attend this year.

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The president added that he wants to get things "straightened out with the press", whom he accused of using made up sources, before he decides to end his boycott of the fundraiser.

The decision was unsurprising given Mr Trump's strained relationship with the media.

This is the second year in a row that Trump will be skipping the WHCD dinner.

Trump, who frequently criticizes the national news media, often targets negative news stories about his administration or outlets that cover his presidency critically as "fake news".

Trump remains the only president since Ronald Reagan to skip the dinner (and Reagan had a pretty good reason: He had been shot).

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"So much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!" he wrote.

He rented Capitol Hill accommodation from the wife of an energy lobbyist previous year at the below-market rate of US$50 per day and used taxpayer funds for first-class travel.

Presidents traditionally attend the dinner, which offers a standing invitation to the occupant of the White House. Trump was mocked in 2011 by the then president Barack Obama and the comedian who turned up for the day - Seth Meyers.

"Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for President as a Republican - which is surprising, since I just assumed that he was running as a joke", Meyers told the crowd.

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