Tags: Donald Trump | Trump | White House Correspondents Dinner | president | Mason

WHCA President: Trump's Decision 'Not a Surprise'

Image: WHCA President: Trump's Decision 'Not a Surprise'

Jeff Mason (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 25 Feb 2017 07:21 PM

President Donald Trump's decision to not attend this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner is "not a surprise," the organizing group's president said Saturday.

"It's President Trump's decision not to come," Jeff Mason, head of the White House Correspondents' Association, told Brianna Keilar on CNN. "We will continue to have this dinner.

"We will focus on what we want to focus on, which is the good work that is guaranteed and protected by the First Amendment."

Trump tweeted Saturday that he would not attend the April 29 event, long considered a standard guest-of-honor stop for a president since its inception in 1920 — and his decision comes amid a rising rift between Trump and the news media.

Three presidents have not attended the annual "nerd prom" — Richard Nixon in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1978 and Ronald Reagan in 1981 after he was shot by John Hinckley — which raises money for scholarships and recognizes outstanding coverage by its members.

"The president has said many negative things about the media and is suggesting that the media is the enemy of the American people," Mason, who covers the administration for Reuters, told Keilar from the White House briefing room. "It's something the correspondents' association and journalists reject.

"The media is an incredibly important part of a vibrant republic — and we celebrate that at that dinner.

"It's up to him to decide whether or not he wants to come, but the correspondents' association and the members who work in this room every day will continue to do our jobs and write the news and tell the truth about this administration, as we have done about every administration before."

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By Todd BeamonPresident Donald Trump's decision to not attend this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner is not a surprise, the organizing group's president said Saturday. It's President Trump's decision not to come, Jeff Mason, head of the White House...
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2017-21-25
Saturday, 25 Feb 2017 07:21 PM
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