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  1. Florida Politics

Trump says he won't attend annual correspondents dinner

In this 2011 image, Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, arrive for the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington. Now president, Trump says he won't be attending the annual  dinner this spring. [Associated Press]
In this 2011 image, Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, arrive for the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington. Now president, Trump says he won't be attending the annual dinner this spring. [Associated Press]
Published Feb. 26, 2017

The annual White House Correspondents dinner will be missing a key guest this year: President Donald Trump.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted he will not be attending the April 29 dinner, considered the premier social event of the Washington press corps and typically an evening of good-natured bantering between presidents and reporters.

His announcement comes amid growing tensions between his administration and the media.

A day earlier, the White House barred reporters from several major news organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, CNN and Politico, from attending an off-camera news briefing.

Several media organizations that traditionally sponsor lavish parties around the black-tie dinner had announced they would not do so this year.

At the annual dinner, the president usually delivers self-deprecating jokes and often is roasted by a comedian. The president also greets students and others who win journalism awards, a major part of the evening.

Trump has been a frequent guest at the dinner in the past, but sitting at a table in the crowded ballroom, not up at the front dais.

In 2011, President Barack Obama singled Trump out during the dinner, mocking him for raising doubts about whether Obama was born in the United States.

"This year, as we do every year, we will celebrate the First Amendment and the role an independent press plays in a healthy republic," the White House Correspondents Association said in a statement this month about the upcoming dinner.