Sarah Sanders to attend White House correspondents’ dinner to represent White House
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will attend the White House correspondents’ dinner this year in place of President Trump, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) announced Friday.
The news comes just hours after Trump himself said he “probably” would not be attending this year, the second year in a row he has skipped the annual dinner honoring D.C. journalists.
“The White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year’s dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment,” the WHCA wrote in a statement on Twitter.
“In keeping with tradition, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will represent the administration at the head table,” the statement adds.
Statement on President and WHCA Dinner pic.twitter.com/WiemgnIvcq
— WHCA (@whca) April 6, 2018
The statement from the WHCA was absent the insults Trump himself used to describe the national news media earlier Friday. Trump told “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” on 77 WABC that the national news media was “so bad and so fake.”
“It’s probably pretty unlikely I will do the White House correspondents’ dinner this year,” he added.
Last year, Trump declined to attend the event in favor of a campaign rally, which irked some in the media who accused the president of trying to compete for media coverage with the dinner.
“I feel bad, because a lot of White House reporters are going to have to go and cover that and not come to our own dinner,” former WHCA member Julie Mason told The Hill last year.
“It’s one thing for him to stay home, and that was fine. And he can just tweet about us and be mean, and that would be kind of funny, and it would feel right. But for him to stage a competing event — we just can’t even have our dinner? We just can’t even do that?”
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