U.S. President Donald Trump, who has a rocky relationship with the media, announced Saturday he would not be attending an annual press 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.
Jeff Mason, head of the association, acknowledged Trump’s announcement, saying in a statement the organization was looking forward to “shining a spotlight” on “some of the best political journalism of the past year”.
President Trump has recently dismissed major news outlets as “fake news” over stories detailing some of the controversies involving his administration.
This month, intelligence information regarding his aides’ communications with Russian officials leaked to media has resulted in Trump sacking his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, and lashing out against the press.
When reports emerged earlier this week that the FBI turned down a request by the White House to publicly discredit news stories on Trump aides’ Russian contacts, Trump harped on some media organizations, calling them the “enemy of the American people”.
Traditionally held in April, the Correspondents’ Dinner is attended annually by the president, White House reporters and celebrities, and hosted by a performer who delivers a comedy script taking aim at both the president and the media.
Attending the dinner in 2011, Trump found himself at the receiving end of one such performance by comedian Seth Meyers, who mocked the business mogul over circulating rumors that he would run for president in the 2012 election.
In his speech that night, President Barack Obama also made jokes about Trump’s potential candidacy. Two weeks later, Trump publicly announced he would not “pursue office of the Presidency”.