‘We Are Not the Enemy of the American People’: WHCA President Rebukes Absent Trump at Correspondents Dinner

Jeff Mason, Reuters White House correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents Association, delivered a speech at Saturday’s annual White Correspondents Dinner that rebuked President Donald Trump for his criticisms of the press, even though Trump skipped the dinner and instead spoke at a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Mason used Trump’s own words to reject Trump’s criticisms of the press and received a standing ovation from the several thousand attendees at the black tie dinner held at the Washington Hilton, located a mile or so north of the White House in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Mason also warned that press freedoms are under threat in the U.S., implying that Trump was to blame.

…”It is our job to report on facts and to hold leaders accountable. That is who we are. We are not fake news. We are not failing news organizations. And we are not the enemy of the American people.”

Longer video of Mason’s speech:

Mason also spoke about press freedoms being threatened in the U.S.:

“…At previous dinners we have rightly talked about the threats to press freedom abroad. Tonight we must recognize that there are threats to press freedoms here in the United States.”

First Amendment pins were given to all attendees of the dinner. An apparent first, even though Trump’s predecessor President Barack Obama spied on reporters and their families in unprecedented numbers.

Featured image, screen capture via Twitter.

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