President Donald Trump said Friday that he would not attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner later this month, confirming his plan to skip the event traditionally attended by sitting presidents for the third year in a row.
Trump told reporters that the event was “negative” and “boring” as he was leaving the White House on his way to visit the southern border in California Friday morning.
“We’re going to hold a very positive rally,” Trump said, instead of attending the annual event on April 27. “It’ll be big,” he promised.
Trump said that a location for the rally has not been determined, but that he has sites in mind for the event in three weeks. “I like positive things, okay?” he added.
Last year the White House Correspondents Dinner, a night that is supposed to celebrate the First Amendment, touched off a firestorm after comedian Michelle Wolf made fun of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Although comedians typically roast White House officials at the event, some viewed the jokes aimed at Sanders as unfair.
In response to the backlash from last year’s dinner, the White House Correspondents’ Association announced that they would break with tradition of having a comedian host the event and instead invite historian Ron Chernow would deliver the keynote address. There was some speculation that the president might attend this year given that there would be no comedian to crack jokes at the administration’s expense.