For the third year in a row, President Donald Trump is boycotting the White House Correspondents’ Association’s (WHCA) annual dinner this weekend. This time he also has directed his administration officials to do the same.

White House Cabinet Secretary Bill McGinley issued a statement to agency chiefs on Tuesday morning instructing them to boycott the dinner.

Instead, President Trump announced he will hold a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the same time to counter program the dinner that he calls “so boring and so negative.”

The day he issued the statement Trump also criticized media outlets for their coverage of his presidency. Trump called New York Times columnist Paul Krugman “stupid” and called on the paper to “get down on their knees” and apologize to him.

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The move marks yet another deterioration in relations between the White House and the press corps. Trump’s rants against the media calling them “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” demonstrate how tensions between the media and the government have escalated during the Trump era.


Staff was permitted to attend the dinner last year and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her press assistants mingled with journalists at receptions leading up to last year’s dinner. But after Michelle Wolf roasted Sanders while she sat at the head table on stage, tensions flared again. This year, Sanders says she will not be attending the dinner and will be joining Trump at the rally instead.

The dinner isn’t all about comedy though. It’s also a fundraiser and awards event that allows for the opportunity for reporters and sources to schmooze with one another. And after last year’s roasting, historian Ron Chernow, who penned the biography of Alexander Hamilton that inspired the hit Broadway musical, will address dinner guests rather than a comedian.


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