This very likely could be the reason Trump announced today that he is backing out of the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Trump took to his Twitter account on Saturday to announce that he will not be attending this year’s 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!” he wrote.
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
Yesterday, the White House banned several news outlets from an off-camera press briefing, and although there is no way to prove it – Trump’s announcement is likely a knee-jerk response to criticism he received from the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) regarding the incident.
The WHCA posted a tweet that, if you follow the link, reads in full: “The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House. We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff. –Jeff Mason, WHCA President”
The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House. We … https://t.co/e6JkOOlwzQ
— WHCA (@whca) February 24, 2017
Noting that “Trump will be the first POTUS to skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in over 30 years,” NBC News connects Trump’s announcement to yesterday’s controversy as well, writing:
The announcement comes after the president and his administration continue to maintain a public feud with the press and blocked multiple media organizations from attending an impromptu daily briefing with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Friday.
NBC adds that a number of news organizations have also cancelled parties that are usually hosted around the ceremonies:
A number of publications — including Bloomberg, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair — have joined a growing list of news organizations that refused to host parties around the ceremonies, citing the president’s baseless claims that longstanding media organizations are spreading “fake news” or are “the enemy of the American people.”
Jeff Mason, WHCA president, posted a response to Trump’s announcement on the Associations’ official website and on Twitter.
The announcement reads in full: “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 White House Correspondents' Association looks forward to having its annual dinner on April 29. The WHCA … https://t.co/ocFz6FHquY
— WHCA (@whca) February 25, 2017