Trump on Friday told reporters ahead of a trip to California that he wouldn’t attend the annual dinner, a star-studded Washington tradition that brings together political figures and members of the press corps. Historically the dinners have included the president.
“Because the dinner is so boring and so negative, that we’re going to hold a very positive rally instead,” said Trump. He added that the dinner is “too negative” and he likes “positive things.”
Trump didn’t give details of his planned rally, except to say “everybody wants it” and “it will be a big one.”
Trump also failed to attend White House correspondents’ dinners in 2017 and 2018. This year’s is scheduled for April 27
Social media exploded after last year’s dinner, when comedian Michelle Wolf roasted Trump, members of his administration and the media. White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev later said Wolf’s performance was not “unifying” and was “not in the spirit” of the group’s mission.
Trump tweeted after the controversy that the dinner was an “embarrassment to everyone associated with it” and that “the filthy ‘comedian’ totally bombed.” He said the annual dinner should be put to rest.
The correspondents’ association decided not to have a comedian perform at this year’s dinner for the first time in 16 years. Instead, Ron Chernow, the famed biographer of Alexander Hamilton, will be the featured speaker.