There’s no doubting that President Donald Trump insists on breaking the mold as Commander in Chief, and not in a good way. Trump’s latest act of rebellion comes in the form of his potential boycott of the White House Correspondents Dinner — for the second year in a row.
Trump has no shame in denouncing anything or anyone he doesn’t like, as well as anything or anyone who doesn’t like him. But his decision to “probably” skip the White House Correspondents Dinner for the second time is rubbing members of the media and regular civilians alike the wrong way.
Donald Trump sending Sarah Sanders to represent him at the White House Correspondents Dinner is a total chickenshit move.
He clearly hasn’t gotten over Barack Obama dragging him back in 2011 and is making someone else take the brunt for his awful presidency.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) April 6, 2018
Pres Trump says it's pretty unlikely he'll attend the White House Correspondent's Dinner this year. "I probably won't do it," said @POTUS in a taped appearance on the @bernieandsid radio show. He said the press is "so bad…so fake…like novelists" who make up sources.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 6, 2018
Meanwhile, our brave president still refuses to face unarmed journalists.https://t.co/FakoBrpD0l
This is the same guy who would’ve run into Marjory Stoneman Douglas to help out.
— NorthofGrandCentral (@NorthofGCT) April 6, 2018
— fraudfeasor (@fraudfeasor) April 6, 2018
Trump upon receiving his invitation to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. pic.twitter.com/0Y6ZajRL3H
— Sergeant ✊ (@OIFvetUSMC02) April 6, 2018
— Derp 🍺🚀 (@AZSaltRebel) April 6, 2018
President Trump’s reasoning for not attending the annual event is that the news media is “so bad and so fake.” Not wanting to support what he considers “fake news,” he will be sending Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on behalf of the administration. Sanders will sit at the head table and fill in for President Trump.
Last year, Trump received double the backlash. Not only did he refuse to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, but he also held a rival event. Hosting a campaign rally instead, Trump divided the media and left many reporters feeling jilted for their hard work.
Former White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) member Julie Mason told The Hill last year that it was disappointing to see President Trump’s actions in lieu of attending the prestigious event. “It’s one thing for him to stay home, and that was fine. And he can just tweet about us and be mean, and that would be kind of funny, and it would feel right,” she explained. “But for him to stage a competing event — we just can’t even have our dinner? We just can’t even do that?”
WCHA President Margaret Talev confirmed President Trump’s plans to skip out on the event. While explaining its purpose, Talev said, “The April 28 dinner celebrates award-winning reporting, scholarship winners and the vital role of the First Amendment and the free press in American democracy.”
President Trump doesn’t want to attend an event celebrating the First Amendment and freedom of the press. Shocking? No. Terrifying? Yes. For the second time in his tenure as president, Trump has shown that a free press is not high on his list of favorites.