WASHINGTON (AP) — White House staff will be skipping this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner along with President Donald Trump.
The White House Correspondents’ Association announced Tuesday evening that they’d been informed that staff would not be attending out of “solidarity” with the president, who previously announced his intention to skip the annual dinner.
The board says in a statement that it “regrets this decision very much,” but that the event will go on as planned.
The annual fundraising dinner, which raises money for college scholarships, typically draws a mix of politicians, journalists, celebrities, as well as the president and first lady. Top White House staff members typically attend, often as guests of media organizations.
The dinner also typically features remarks from a comedian, often roasting the president, and a humorous address by the president himself, often roasting the press and political opponents.
Trump has long had an adversarial relationship with news media. Since taking office, however, he has stepped up his criticism, accusing some prominent news outlets of publishing “fake news” and calling them “the enemy of the American people.”