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 ObamaMichelle Obama to donate 0K to Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund Julia Roberts, Michelle Obama traveling to Southeast Asia for Girls Opportunity Alliance Michelle Obama shares 'Happy Thanksgiving' message with photo of family MORE’s makeup artist, Carl Ray.