President Donald Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this year.
This is the second year in which Trump will not attend as president. According to Politico, he will instead send White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the April 28 dinner.
“In keeping with tradition, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also will represent the administration at the head table,” White House Correspondents’ Association President Margaret Talev said.
Trump will also, according to The New York Times, actively encourage administration members to attend.
“The White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year’s dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment,” Talev explained in a Friday statement.
While presidents previously attended the dinner, Trump has had more of a contentious relationship with the media and was the subject of at least two roasts — by former President Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers — at previous dinners.
CNN, perhaps Trump’s favorite target, will receive the Merriman Smith Award for a report it did on the intelligence community, Russia, and Trump.
The report claimed that the community suspected Russia had compromising information on Trump who has repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.
For most of Trump’s presidency, the media has fixated on the Russia issue and intensely covered special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into 2016 election meddling.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, whom Trump called a “Hillary flunky” and said she knows “nothing about me,” will receive an award for “her deep understanding of what makes President Trump tick.”