Donald Trump once again won't attend White House Correspondents' Dinner

PSEG 2 SMOG

PSEG 2 SMOG

Donald Trump, then the Republican presidential nominee, laughs with wife Melania during the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in 2016.

President Trump has repeatedly clashed with California over policy, particularly around the environment and immigration.

With the exception of the conservative-leaning Fox News, the former host of "The Apprentice" has made it a routine to bash the press, often lashing out on his #Twitter feed.

Just a few hours after the announcement on Friday, the president tweeted about the "Fake News Media" and said, "so much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!"

Trump suggested he will "probably" skip the feast, like he did a year ago, as he kept up his continued assault on what he sees as negative coverage of his tenure in the Oval Office.

"They're like novelists. I call them novelists", he added. He deemed last year's correspondents' dinner a "massive failure", prompting Mr. McGuirk to chime in, "Yes, yes!"

"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", Margaret Talev, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, said in a statement on Friday.

Talev said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders will attend to represent the administration at the head table.

Ebony Bowden reported from New York City.

"I didn't do it a year ago, I had a rally instead, which was good".

The annual dinner celebrates the importance of the First Amendment and raises money for journalism scholarships. Still, Reagan phoned into the event to offer his brief remarks, as well as some particularly dark humor given the circumstances of his absence. During his first 60 days in office, media reports on Trump were three times more negative than Barack Obama and twice as negative as coverage of presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, according to the Pew Research Center. "I'm very excited to come here and ruin your evening in person".

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