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WHCA says it looks forward to dinner despite Trump absence

WHCA says it looks forward to dinner despite Trump absence
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The president of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) said Saturday that the organization looks forward to hosting its annual dinner despite President Trump's decision not to attend.

“The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump's announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic," WHCA president Jeff Mason said in a statement. 

"We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession," he added of the April 29 dinner.

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Trump announced via Twitter earlier Saturday that he would not attend the dinner, breaking with past presidents. Trump attended the dinner in 2011, where he was repeatedly mocked by then-President Obama.

“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

Trump’s announcement came one day after the White House barred multiple news outlets from a question-and-answer session with press secretary Sean Spicer. Journalists blasted the decision, including the WHCA.