A presidential aide said Sunday, that President Donald Trump will skip the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner since he was not elected to “pretend” to like reporters.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Trump aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I think it’s kind of naive of us to think that we can all walk into a room for a couple of hours and pretend that some of that tension isn’t there.”
“One of the things we say in the South [is] if a Girl Scout egged your house, would you buy cookies from her? I think that this is a pretty similar scenario,” she continues. “There’s no reason for him to go in and sit and pretend like this is going to be just another Saturday night.”
The president’s announcement on Twitter that he would miss-out on the presidential tradition was hardly shocking news, since Mr. Trump openly declared war on the press – “the enemy”- and mainstream media correspondents were prevented from attending certain press briefings.
When Trump attended the Correspondent’s Dinner when he was invited in 2011, President Obama took the opportunity to taunt the business mogul for casting reservations on his birth certificate. He also made fun of Trump’s leadership experience by citing a “Celebrity Apprentice” episode where the billionaire sacked Gary Busey for Little John.
Obama remarked: “These are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well-handled, sir. Well-handled.”
President Ronald Reagan was forced to skip the annual black-tie affair because he was recovering from wounds sustained during an assassination attempt, although he addressed the attendees by phone. Mr. Trump would be the first president to forego the scholarship dinner by choice.
Trump will devote his time concentrating on national security matters, border protection, and improving the economy.
The aide said, “This wasn’t a president that was elected to spend his time with reporters and celebrities, this is a president who campaigned on speaking directly to Americans, and that’s what he’s going to spend his time doing.”