In a continuation of his vendetta against the press, the US president says he won't attend the traditional White House Correspondents' Dinner in April.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
The announcement comes amid reports that CNN, MSNBC and other organizations were thinking of boycotting the evening to protest their treatment at the hands of the new administration. This includes being called "a danger to our country" by the president and having their access to officials limited. Buzzfeed, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, the Hill and Politico were not invited to an off-camera but on-the-record press gaggle with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer yesterday, a move CNN called "unacceptable."
The annual dinner at the Washington Hilton, which raises money for journalism scholarships and awards, has turned into a celebrity event that some journalists have criticized as a sign the Washington press is becoming too cozy with the nation's power structures.
Trump himself was brutally roasted when he attended as a guest in 2011 for pushing the Obama "birther" controversy.
President of the White House Correspondents' Association Jeff Mason said in a statement that "The White House Correspondents' Association looks forward to having its annual dinner on April 29. The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump's announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic. 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."
The annual dinner has been a DC fixture for nearly 100 years, and the first president, Calvin Coolidge, attended in 1924. In recent years, the event has been hosted by a comedian who roasts the president who in turn teases the media and other guests.
Trump also took a moment on Twitter to troll new Democratic National Committee Chair Thomas Perez, congratulating him and saying he "couldn't be happier… for the Republican Party."