WASHINGTON — After refusing to attend next weekend's annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner — a traditional night of comity between presidents and the news media — President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he would hold a rally away from the capital while the dinner was under way.
In a Twitter message Saturday morning, the president said he would be "holding a BIG rally in Pennsylvania" on Saturday, the same night the press corps will gather for its annual black-tie event at the Washington Hilton.
The rally will be in Harrisburg.
Trump's decision is another thumb-in-the-eye to the White House press corps after months of tension and acrimony between the president and the reporters who cover him. Trump has called several news organizations "fake" or the "enemy of the people."
In other news:
• U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has been removed by the administration and replaced temporarily by his deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams. Murthy, a holdover from the Obama administration, was asked to resign, according to a statement by the Department of Health and Human Services.
• In Sydney, Vice President Mike Pence offered assurance to Australia over its ties to the United States and pledged to honor a refugee resettlement deal that had been criticized by Trump as "dumb" during a phone call during the president's first weekend in office. "We've initiated the process of fulfilling that agreement," Pence said after meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.