For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump won’t be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Instead, he’s sending White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the April 28 event.
In fact, this year’s host is already mocking President Trump for skipping the dinner, with comedian Michelle Wolf stating she would rather look Trump “in the eye” while making fun of him.
Best-selling author of God and Donald Trump and award-winning journalist Stephen E. Strang says the president’s decision not to attend the dinner is not surprising. His love-hate relationship with the media has been a hallmark over his nearly 18 months in office and on the campaign trail.
“Donald Trump is a media genius,” Strang said. “Knowing full well he wouldn’t get fair, unbiased coverage from the mainstream media during the campaign, he instead created his own media buzz with frequent Twitter posts that made headlines around the world. Donald Trump calls out ‘fake news’ when he sees it and has built relationships with members of the media who are fair to his agenda. Perhaps more than any other president before him, Donald Trump has changed the way the White House interacts and engages with the media. So him skipping this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner once again shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, especially after more than two years of being skewered by many in the profession.”
Trump isn’t the first sitting president to skip the dinner, but he is the first not to attend since Ronald Reagan, reported Elite Daily. The tradition of the dinner dates back nearly 100 years to 1921, when then-President Warren G. Harding, who reinstated regular White House press conferences, was inaugurated. But Harding, a former newspaperman, didn’t attend the dinners either. The first president to actually go was Calvin Coolidge in 1924.
Bowing out on the White House Correspondents’ Dinners in the past were Reagan, who was recovering from his assassination attempt, as well as Jimmy Carter, who skipped twice, and Richard Nixon, who turned down invitations three times. But every president since Coolidge has attended at least one dinner while in the White House. Two dinners were canceled: in 1930, because former President William Taft had died that morning, and in 1942, when the U.S. entered World War II.
In God and Donald Trump, Strang gives an inside look at the Donald Trump campaign, election and the presidency thus far, including how he engaged with evangelicals and other faith groups to claim victory.
Strang is an award-winning journalist and successful businessman who began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. He later founded a Christian publishing house and media company while interviewing and writing about nearly every Christian leader in the country over the past four decades.
God and Donald Trump is published by Frontline, an imprint of Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 14 New York Times best-sellers.