- This year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner takes place on April 27.
- President Donald Trump has refused to go for the third time in his presidency, saying the dinner was “boring and so negative.”
- He says he will hold a campaign rally at an unspecified location instead, adding: “I like positive things, OK?”
- Michelle Wolf, the comedian who was criticised for her biting remarks at last year’s dinner, slammed Trump for not attending again, saying: “He doesn’t have a big enough spine to attend.”
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Michelle Wolf, the comedian who hosted last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, mocked President Donald Trump for refusing to attend this year’s dinner for the third year in a row.
Trump told reporters on Friday, as cited by The Hill: “The dinner is boring and so negative that we’re going to hold a very positive rally.”
He said he would hold a campaign rally instead, adding: “I like positive things, OK?”
The location of the rally remains unclear, but Trump said it would “be a big one.”
Wolf responded on Friday, telling an event in New York that the president “can’t take someone making fun of them.”
“You know, he’s probably just really busy because he’s got to golf and honestly, I don’t know if anyone really wants to watch him eat,” she said, according to The Hill. “So I think it’s for the best probably.”
“He doesn’t have a big enough spine to attend,” she added. “A person who can’t take someone making fun of them, I don’t really care about.”
Wolf’s speech at last year’s event, which explicitly insulted people in the room including White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was widely criticised by the Trump administration, members of the news media, and the White House Correspondents’ Association, the organisation behind the dinner.
Others defended her, saying that the biting truth in her jokes were supposed to make people feel uncomfortable.
This year’s dinner will take place on April 27. But instead of having a stand-up comedian headline the dinner – as is tradition – this year will feature Ron Chernow, the noted biographer whose books include Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington, and President Ulysses S. Grant.
Trump teased a possible attendance shortly after the announcement that Chernow would speak at the dinner last November, tweeting: “Good first step in comeback of a dying evening and tradition! Maybe I will go?”
Trump has never been to the dinner as president, opting instead of hold campaign rallies on the same day.
Oliver Knox, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said in response to Trump’s refusal to attend: “We’re looking forward to an enjoyable evening of celebrating the First Amendment and great journalists past, present, and future.”
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