President Trump announced some weeks ago that he won’t be going to the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a dinner held in Washington, D.C. as an annual gathering of the White House press corps and the President.
He wrote the following on Twitter back in February:
‘I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
Trump, of course, has a long running beef with the press, accusing the nation’s major mainstream media outlets of peddling fake news when they, quite simply, haven’t.
The last president to skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was Ronald Reagan, but he didn’t exactly do it of his own accord. Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt when the dinner was held in 1981.
Trump has now revealed what it is that he will be doing instead of going to that dinner, and it’s not really that surprising.
Writing on Twitter this past Saturday, Trump said:
‘Next Saturday night I will be holding a BIG rally in Pennsylvania. Look forward to it!’
Next Saturday night I will be holding a BIG rally in Pennsylvania. Look forward to it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017
It is beyond peculiar for Trump to still be holding rallies now that he’s in the Oval Office. Trump is supposed to be doing presidential things, not still campaigning. Nonetheless, Trump has already filed to run for the presidency in 2020 even though the election, quite simply, isn’t for four more years. He has also held a number of other rallies besides the one that he’ll be holding in Pennsylvania this Saturday.
A senior White House official speaking to POLITICO said that the decision to hold a rally at the same time as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is supposedly more about Trump’s populist ambitions than about serving as a direct affront to the media.
This official said:
‘The media is trying to make this about them when — respectively it has nothing to do with you guys. It’s about focusing on the people.’
It’s not immediately clear whether or not the Trump team had the idea for a rally before Trump first announced that he wouldn’t be attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
The dinner is held to benefit a journalism scholarship and to recognize reporters for outstanding coverage in the past year. The dinner will be a subdued affair this year, with a number of publications skipping the dinner and cancelling their normally concurrent events.
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