Trump to Skip White House Correspondents Dinner Again, Send Sarah Sanders Instead

This is the second year in a row POTUS will be MIA at annual press gathering

Last Updated: April 6, 2018 @ 6:05 AM

President Donald Trump will not attend the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner, according to a statement released Friday by the organization on Twitter.

“The White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year’s dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment,” said White House Correspondents Association President Margaret Talev.

In the same release, Talev revealed that instead of Trump, journalists would be treated to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“In keeping with tradition, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also will represent the administration at the head table.”

It’s the second year in a row Trump will skip the event, which has been regularly attended by presidents of both parties for decades.

The event which celebrates “award-winning reporting, scholarship winners and the vital role of the First Amendment and the free press in American democracy,” would have placed the president in the same room as many of the journalists he has spent the past few years deriding as “fake news.”

The event typically features a comedian whose job is to roast the sitting occupant of the Oval Office to their face — an annual tradition the famously thin-skinned Trump was always unlikely to go for.

Though no explanation was given for the president’s decision, he has not been shy about attending other Washington dinner party staples. Last month, Trump hewed to tradition by attending the annual D.C. Gridiron dinner. He was even praised by dinner participants for a humorous monologue he delivered at the event.