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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.
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 Obama's makeup artist, Carl Ray.