John Oliver believes way too much attention has been given to President Donald Trump’s decision not to to attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
When TMZ caught up with Oliver in New York City, the cameraman asked Oliver how big a deal Trump’s absence from the annual press event is.
“It is zero deal. It’s meaningless,” Oliver said.
Earlier this week, Trump said on Twitter that he wouldn’t attend the April 29 event, which raises money for college-journalism scholarships. That decision followed several news organisations announcing that they wouldn’t attend in protest of the Trump administration’s treatment of the press.
The dinner also usually features a comedian speaker, who generally roasts the president, his administration, and potentially others. Seth Meyers made a lot of news when he mocked Donald Trump at the 2011 dinner.
Oliver feels there are bigger things to tackle when it comes to the president.
“If you can find yourself prioritising being annoyed by that, then that’s pretty impressive,” HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host told TMZ. “I would put that as the 250th most concerning thing at the moment. And that’s being generous.”
Trump will be the first president not to attend the dinner since President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He had a pretty compelling excuse, as he was recovering from being shot in an assassination attempt. When asked how he feels about Trump breaking from the tradition, Oliver didn’t waver on his opinion and knocked the event itself.
“Who gives a s—?” he said. “There are thousands of things more concerning than that, than him not going to a dinner, which is kind of bulls— anyway.”
When asked about the president’s decision, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump wasn’t elected “to spend his time with reporters and celebrities.” He also said that Trump would instead spend the evening of the dinner “focused on what he can to do to help better America.”
TMZ asked Oliver if he thinks Trump will spend the night working.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he’s ever secretly in a room working,” Oliver said. “I don’t know what he’s doing, but working doesn’t seem to be one of them.”
Watch TMZ’s interview with Oliver below: