The White House Correspondents’ Association is keeping open the possibility that President Donald Trump may appear at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April. The president announced last month on Twitter that he would not attend.
“If President Trump changes his mind, he is welcome to attend the dinner,” said association President Jeff Mason of Reuters.
There have been no announcements yet on who would be at the head table if Trump does not attend. Traditionally, members of the WHCA board sit on stage, joined by the president, first lady, vice president, White House press secretary and entertainment.
President Trump has attended events in the past where he had declined invitations, such as a post-election interview with the New York Times.
C-SPAN political editor and former WHCA president Steve Scully commented on this possibility. “President Trump is the master showman so he may decide to attend at the last minute, but I doubt it.”
The president has attended every White House Correspondents’ Dinner since 1981, when Ronald Reagan missed as he was recovering from an assassination attempt. Reagan called the dinner and addressed the crowd over the phone. Jimmy Carter was the last president to decline an invitation to the annual dinner.
The Association Dinner will be held on April 29. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for emerging journalism students.