Correspondents' Association head didn't know Trump would be announcing dinner decision Friday

The idea was quickly dumped last year after the price tag of $100,000 a month from plane leasing company Nex Jet was considered prohibitively expensive

Correspondents' Association head didn't know Trump would be announcing dinner decision Friday

His patience for rigorous interviews is thin, and he prefers cozier interlocutors like Jeanine Pirro of Fox News or Mr. McGuirk of WABC, a former Don Imus executive producer and on-air sidekick who, on Friday, praised Mr. Trump's speeches as "beautiful, wonderful, fantastic, funny, relaxed".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will represent Mr Trump at the April 28 dinner, sitting at the head table where presidents, first ladies and vice presidents have been sat in the past. "And I remember one of my jokes was about his casino business failing, and I could feel that hurt coming off of him", he added.

And unlike previous year, when members of the Trump administration also skipped the dinner in solidarity with their boss, Trump "will actively encourage" executive branch folks to go, Talev said. And unlike past year, she said, the president wouldn't discourage other administration officials from attending.

But offering an indication that he's not completely unwilling to go along with social traditions, Trump did attend this year's Gridiron dinner, a far smaller gathering of a club made up of top Washington journalists.

Trump skipped the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in 2017.


But the president, who has long had an adversarial relationship with the news media, did not elaborate on how he planned to do so.

Earlier in March, Trump also called out the Washington Post, claiming confusingly that it needed to register as a "lobbyist" because its owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the CEO of Amazon.

Though notoriously thin-skinned, Trump has subjected himself to ribbing before, including New York's Al Smith dinner during the 2016 campaign. He also declined an invite previous year.

Both Obama and that year's host, Seth Meyers, tore into Trump with a series of scathing jokes from the dais.

"It's been a really calm week at the White House", Trump deadpanned after a flurry of departures and other controversies rocked the White House.

This will be the second time Trump skips the famous dinner. "I'm very excited to come here and ruin your evening in person".

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