- President Donald Trump has reportedly canceled the annual White House Christmas party for the press.
- The annual, decades-old event has historically been a peacemaking exercise.
- Trump has consistently attacked the press while reducing the number of White House press briefings.
- Last year’s party was marked by tension: CNN boycotted the event, while Trump and the first lady reportedly broke tradition and did not pose for photographs.
President Donald Trump is said to have canceled the decades-old annual White House Christmas party for the news media.
Fox News reported on Thursday morning that Trump had canceled the event. It said the White House didn’t announce the cancelation. Fox didn’t explain where the information came from.
The event is intended for members of the press and White House officials to socialise and has been seen as a peacemaking exercise. The party is usually held in early to mid-December and is off the record.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the fate of the party was unclear, as it had yet to be scheduled despite Christmas getting close.
Trump this year continued his hostile posture toward the press.
He has repeatedly called the news media the “enemy of the people” and frequently sparred both with individual journalists and with outlets including CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
CNN boycotted the party in 2017, citing Trump’s “continued attacks” on journalists. The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responded with a dig at the network, tweeting: “Christmas comes early! Finally, good news from @CNN.”
April Ryan, the longtime White House press corps member who became a CNN contributor in 2017, was left off last year’s guest list, The Post reported, and the party was also moved to the afternoon on a weekday, making it harder for reporters to bring spouses or children.
Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, also skipped the tradition of posing for photos with reporters, according to The Post. Obama-era parties featured even reporters from minor outlets getting to talk to the president and pose for a picture.
The White House has dramatically cut the amount of time it spends with the press under Trump: Just one briefing took place in September.
Trump has also skipped the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner two years in a row.
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