President Donald Trump has decided not to attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon.
The president’s decision comes a day after Bloomberg L.P. announced it would not hold its planned after party for the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. “We surveyed some of the past attendees and didn’t get as much interest in a party this year as we’ve had in the past, so we decided to focus on the dinner and the WHCA,” a Bloomberg spokesperson said in a statement.
The tense relationship between the press and Trump escalated on Friday, whenWhite House Press Secretary Sean Spicer caused an uproar by taking the highly unusual step of barring The New York Times, CNN, Politico and several other outlets who have been critical of the administration from a briefing.
The star-studded dinner and party-filled weekend has been criticized in the past for creating an overly chummy relationship between the White House press corps and the administration they cover, but it has become the subject of controversy since President Trump, who has been openly antagonistic towards the press, took office in January. Vanity Fair, which has cohosted the after party with Bloomberg LP in past years, pulled out earlier this month. Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter, a longtime foe of Trump’s, cited the new president as a reason for canceling in an e-mail to The New York Times.
Fellow Condé Nast title The New Yorker also decided against throwing its annual kickoff party at the French ambassador’s house. According to a report in BuzzFeed, CNN, a recent target of the president’s ire, is still considering whether to attend. Other media organizations, including Time magazine and sibling publication People, MSNBC and other outlets are still mulling their plans for White House Correspondents’ Dinner festivities.
Comedian Samantha Bee and BuzzFeed are both planning to hold alternative parties.