US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that he would not attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, a high-profile event that draws celebrities, politicians, and journalists.
On the campaign trail and in the White House, Trump has had a tense relationship with the press, calling some journalists “the enemy of the people” and frequently criticising certain outlets.
The journalists’ group said it would go ahead with its April 29 dinner despite Trump’s absence.
On Friday, the Guardian, New York Times, Buzzfeed and Politco and others said they were excluded from an off-camera White House press briefing which was initially scheduled as the daily press talk held on camera. Reporters from media outlets seen as conservative or more Trump friendly were allowed to attend the gaggle with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer inside his West Wing office.
In previous years, presidents have often used the correspondents’ dinner as a chance to show off their sense humour.
President George W Bush joked that his mother was a fan of rocker Ozzy Osbourne to laughter and applause.
US President Barack Obama, who over two tenures became known for his sharp wit, in 2011, poked fun at those who questioned his citizenship, including Trump.
Obama delivered a scathing evisceration of Trump, joking that the mogul, who sat stone-faced in the audience, would move on from questioning Obama’s citizenship to figuring out “did we fake the moon landing”.
“Obviously we know of your credentials and breadth of experience,” Obama said of Trump who used to star on his television show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”
His famous “Obama out” at his final White House correspondents dinner is now one of the most iconic mic drops.