The host of this year’s White House correspondents dinner has put a funny positive spin on President Donald Trump’s impending no-show.
The White House Correspondents’ Association hosts the annual shindig traditionally frequented by journalists, celebrities and the president. Margaret Talev, the association’s president, confirmed via a tweeted statement on Friday that Trump was planning to skip this year’s event:
“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,” Talev wrote.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the media, and often dubs news outlets that report critically on his administration as “fake news.” In 2011, former President Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers both used their speeches to poke fun at then-reality TV personality Trump.
Last year, Trump became the first president not to take part in the dinner since 1981, when then-President Ronald Reagan was recovering at Camp David from an assassination attempt and delivered his address by telephone.