President Donald Trump will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner this year — again.
The president, a well-known critic of mainstream media, has recently intensified his attacks on news outlets like The Washington Post. Now, he’s saying that he will skip the traditional Correspondents' Dinner, sending White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in his place.
"I probably won't do it," the president said during a radio interview with a New York radio show on Friday.
"The White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year's dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment," White House Correspondents' Association President Margaret Talev said in a statement.
While this isn’t the first time the president chooses to, in a way, boycott the event, he did join the Gridiron Dinner in March, which is an event hosted by journalists.
On Twitter, many users criticized the president for not having the courage to face those he attacks so easily online.
A symbol of his deeply strained relationship with the news media... https://t.co/U0CZuSTYUf— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 6, 2018
He has no respect for any amendment, why make an appearance that'll just highlight his lack of enthusiasm, or caring, or concern, or heart.— Drew McGrath (@DrewMcGrathArt) April 6, 2018
coward - if he's not the main attraction and in control little Donald don't want to play— Honda Fit (@politics1743) April 6, 2018
WEAK!— TIT for TAT (@Tit_iv_Tat) April 6, 2018
Trump: All bark and no bite.
At least one user actually said the president was doing the right thing, but for the wrong reasons.
Not attending the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner is probably the thing Trump has done that I support the most. He’s doing it for all the wrong reasons, but he’s still in the right.— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 6, 2018
Regardless of what anyone might think about the actual Correspondents’ Dinner, the fact remains that the president’s unwillingness to participate shows just how little he respects the media.
He actively uses his administration to reportedly go after Amazon out of a petty fight with The Washington Post, and it’s clear that he has no interest in truly defending the First Amendment.