Correspondents' Association head didn't know Trump would be announcing dinner decision Friday

Correspondents' Association head didn't know Trump would be announcing dinner decision Friday
© Greg Nash

The head of White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) said Friday she found out from the media that President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE had already announced he wouldn’t be attending this year’s black-tie dinner hosted by the group.

“I was on the phone discussing with the White House how to announce that the president didn’t intend to attend when Trump announced it on his own on the radio,” WHCA President Margaret Talev said during a “Truth, Trust and the First Amendment in the Digital Age” discussion in Washington, D.C.


“The message underscoring it is one of participation this year, and I think that’s a good thing," continued the senior Bloomberg News White House correspondent. "There is something a little bit different about ... the administration's posture this year — the White House telling us that while the president himself doesn't feel comfortable attending this year, he is going to actively encourage his Cabinet, his advisers, the executive branch who have received invitations to attend that dinner.”

President Trump told "Bernie & Sid in the Morning" on 77-WABC in New York during a phone interview on Friday morning that it's "unlikely" he will "do the White House correspondents' dinner this year," before adding the news media is “so bad and so fake."

Talev confirmed in a statement following the interview that Trump would not be attending “Nerd Prom,” but is sending his chief spokeswoman.

"In keeping with tradition, Press Secretary Sarah [Huckabee] Sanders also will represent the administration at the head table," Talev said. "The April 28 dinner celebrates award-winning reporting, scholarship winners and the vital role of the First Amendment and the free press in American democracy."

This will mark the second straight year Trump is skipping the WHCA dinner. Last year, Trump was the first president to forgo the event since Ronald Reagan in 1981, when the president was recovering from an assassination attempt.