Capitol File partygoers praise low-key start to correspondents’ dinner weekend

Partygoers kicked off the beginning of White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) weekend Friday night, mixing and mingling among a journalist- and political operative-heavy crowd at Capitol File magazine’s annual soiree.

Several attendees at the British Ambassador’s residence in Washington were heard praising a more “low-key” series of WHCA-related affairs this year, saying they welcomed fewer functions and less celebrity-filled guest lists.

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President Trump, who’s had a contentious relationship with the press, announced in February that he was skipping Saturday’s WHCA dinner at the Washington Hilton in an unusual break from tradition. Then-President Reagan was the last sitting commander in chief to forgo the black-tie festivities, which raises money for journalism scholarships, in 1981, when he was recovering from an assassination attempt.


A number of media outlets — including People, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg and The New Yorker, among others — canned their annual Correspondents’ fetes.

Among those eyed at the bash — which included an array of British staples, including Shepherd’s Pie, vegetable curry, and Beef Wellington — were: Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.); CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux and Michelle Kosinski; The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin and Ali Rogin of ABC News; Republican strategist Michael Steel and Mary Kathryn Steel; “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” showrunner Chris Licht; GOP strategist Ron Bonjean; drummer Max Weinberg and wife Becky; and Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama on social media: You’ve got to ‘think before you tweet’ MSNBC trolls Trump with video montage of Obama saying ‘Merry Christmas’ Overnight Regulation: USDA delays healthy school lunch requirements | Senate panel advances controversial environmental pick | Drone industry pushes to ease rules | Dem commish joins energy regulator MORE’s makeup artist, Carl Ray.