Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Friday morning, President Trump announced he will not attend this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. He plans to hold a rally instead.
"I’m going to hold a rally,” Trump said. “The dinner is so boring and so negative that we’re going to hold a very positive rally.”
Last fall, Trump said he "may" attend the dinner. This is the third year in a row he will be skipping the event.
So-called comedian Michelle Wolf bombed so badly last year at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that this year, for the first time in decades, they will have an author instead of a comedian. Good first step in comeback of a dying evening and tradition! Maybe I will go?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
Last year's dinner came under harsh criticism after hired comedian Michelle Wolf viciously attacked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who was sitting just feet away at the head table. The Association hired author Ron Chernow to speak about the First Amendment for this year's dinner.
“The White House Correspondents’ Association has asked me to make the case for the First Amendment and I am happy to oblige,” Chernow said about his upcoming remarks. “Freedom of the press is always a timely subject and this seems like the perfect moment to go back to basics. My major worry these days is that we Americans will forget who we are as a people and historians should serve as our chief custodians in preserving that rich storehouse of memory. While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won’t be dry.”
“I’m delighted that Ron will share his lively, deeply researched perspectives on American politics and history at the 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” WHCA President Olvier Knox released in a statement last year. “As we celebrate the importance of a free and independent news media to the health of the republic, I look forward to hearing Ron place this unusual moment in the context of American history.”
No word yet on whether White House staff will also skip the event.