There will be no representative from the White House at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. The Trump administration announced late Tuesday that White House staff will not attend this year’s Dinner out of “solidarity” with the president.
WHCA president Jeff Mason of Reuters sent a letter to the organization stating that “[t]he White House informed the White House Correspondents’ Association this evening that White House staff will not be attending this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner out of ‘solidarity’ with President Trump, who has previously announced that he would skip the event.”
The president announced on Twitter in February that he would not attend the annual dinner. But various White House figures had been rumored to be planning on attending, such as Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
“Only the White House can speak to the signal it wants to send with this decision, but our signal is clear,” wrote Mason. “We will celebrate the First Amendment on April 29 and look forward to acknowledging the important work of our terrific members and awarding scholarships to students who represent the next generation of our profession.”
The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner will be held on April 29 at the Washington Hilton. Proceeds for the event go toward scholarships for exceptional students in journalism.