Former White House press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerPress: It's time to bring back White House briefings Rapid turnover shapes Trump's government Pelosi gets under Trump's skin on impeachment MORE defended the Trump administration's boycott of the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner — while at one of the many glitzy parties that surround the annual event.  

Spicer, at the annual tech- and media-focused "Bytes and Bylines" party kicking off the weekend, told ITK he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE and his aides "have to make decisions that are in their best interests."

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The White House two days earlier said it directed members of the Trump administration to boycott the WHCA dinner. Trump has skipped the party three years in a row. 

But Spicer insisted Trump administration officials don't have to attend the party to show that they are supportive of the First Amendment and free press. 

"You can celebrate the First Amendment and all this without necessarily the fanfare," Spicer told ITK.

Spicer was the belle of the ball at the sixth annual "Bytes and Bylines" mixer, held at the lush home of Ireland's ambassador to the U.S., Daniel Mulhall. Mulhall guided Spicer around the party, introducing him to eager attendees who gathered in a circle around Spicer at some points. 

The party was hosted by politics, tech and media hotshots Allen Gannett, Eric Kuhn, John McCarthy, and Jennifer DeCasper, chief of staff to Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottGOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman Tim Scott: Sanders would be toughest challenger for Trump House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (R-S.C.). 

Guests mingled across the Irish ambassador's stone back patio and green lawn when they weren't waiting in line for Guinness beer and authentic Irish whiskey. 

Attendees included former Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Jim MoranJames (Jim) Patrick MoranLawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Star-studded cast to perform play based on Mueller report DC theatre to host 11-hour reading of the Mueller report MORE (D-Va.); West Wing actress Melissa Fitzgerald; NBC News correspondent Stephanie Ruhle; CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter; an assortment of ambassadors and many more D.C. insiders. 

Almost as soon as Spicer arrived at the event, the former Trump spokesman got in line, turned around and asked ITK, "Is the Guinness here?"

Irish-themed foods, including sausages wrapped in bacon, circulated as guests discussed what you might expect from this crowd: Russian bots, autonomous vehicles and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders defends Castro comments in wake of backlash from some Democrats Klobuchar releases medical report that says she's in 'very good health' Candidates face pressure to exit presidential race MORE's decision to jump into the Democratic presidential race.

ABC News White House correspondent Tara Palmeri told ITK that the main topic of conversation at the event was "how boring the [WHCA] dinner's going to be."

After walking away, Palmeri came back to tell ITK that she will not be attending the dinner because she will be covering Trump's rally in Green Bay, Wis. She added that is what "real" White House correspondents do.