WASHINGTON – For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump did not attend the annual White House Correspondents Dinner on the weekend, afterwards calling it “dead ... a total disaster and an embarrassment.”
The dinner was first held in 1921 as a way to reduce tensions between the government and journalists covering the administration, but Trump on Saturday decided once again to forego the dinner, opting instead to go before a friendlier crowd in Washington, Michigan, outside Detroit, where he staged a campaign-like rally to tout what he considers to be his achievements in office.
“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for,” tweeted Trump.
“FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!” he added.
The president on Sunday night fired off a tweet lambasting comic Michelle Wolf, who was the featured speaker at the Correspondents Dinner and used sharp and biting humor to criticize the Trump administration and the scandals that have erupted involving the White House in recent months.
“While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn’t work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust...the so-called comedian really ‘bombed,’” Trump had tweeted regarding Wolf’s presentation.
With his decision not to attend the last two dinners for the White House press corps, Trump has become the second president not to attend the annual event in two consecutive years – and the only one to voluntarily opt out – after former President Ronald Reagan failed to attend the dinner in 1981 because he was recovering from wounds suffered in an assassination attempt.