The president announced in February that he would not attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, scheduled to take place this Saturday, April 29. But in a recent interview with Reuters, President Donald Trump suggested he may participate in future dinners.
“I would come next year, absolutely,” Trump replied when asked if he would attend future White House Correspondents’ Dinners.
This year marks the first time a sitting president was not at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner since Ronald Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt in 1981. Jimmy Carter was the last president to turn down an invitation to the 1978 Dinner.
Instead of attending the dinner, President Trump is schedule to speak to a political rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Jeff Mason, White House Correspondent for Reuters and president of the WHCA, has said the president’s absence is not all negative. He said it would be “a great opportunity to make clear that this dinner is about celebrating the press, not the presidency.”