White House staffers will not be attending the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner in “solidarity” with President Trump who announced last month via Twitter he would not attend the dinner, WHCA President Jeff Mason (Reuters) said in a statement released Tuesday.
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) March 28, 2017
The White House informed the White House Correspondents’ Association this evening that White House staff will not be attending this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner out of “solidarity” with President Trump, who has previously announced that he would skip the event.
The WHCA board regrets this decision very much. We have worked hard to build a constructive relationship with the Trump White House and believe strongly that this goal is possible even with the natural tension between the press and administrations that is a hallmark of a healthy republic.
We made clear in our meeting tonight that President Trump, Vice President Pence, and White House staff continue to be welcome to join us at this dinner.
Only the White House can speak to the signal it wants to send with this decision. But our signal is clear: We will celebrate the First Amendment on April 29 and look forward to acknowledging the important work of our terrific members and awarding scholarships to students who represent the next generation of our profession.”
The dinner will be held April 29 at the Washington Hilton. Politico reported that with the White House boycott, the Secret Service will not be providing security for the dinner. It was also reported that entertainment for the dinner has not been announced and that several parties associated with the dinner have been canceled.