One day after President Donald Trump threw a Twitter temper tantrum while, about 50 miles away, high school students mourning the country’s latest mass shooting suggested he shove a sock in it, his press secretary announced Trump had RSVP’d “yes” to his very first press dinner.
Several people have inquired about the President’s participation in Gridiron and WHCA dinner – the President is planning to attend the gridiron dinner but no decision has been made regarding the WHCA dinner at this time. Will keep you posted when there is an update.
In Washington media circles, this constituted big news. Even though his response to the WHCA dinner clearly is shaping up to be a second consecutive no-show:
The Gridiron began in 1885 just after Grover Cleveland was elected POTUS, and every president after Cleveland has attended at least once.
Trump gave the white-tie event a miss last year; Veep Mike Pence attended instead, at which he called the dinner a “a light-hearted respite” and delivered a few jokes. That included one about the Academy Awards Best Picture snafu the previous week, of which he said, “We haven’t seen that many shocked Hollywood liberals since November 8th.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was the featured Democratic speaker at last year’s clambake, sang “Don’t Take My Medicare Away” in a skit, and noted Trump “has appointed so many people from Goldman Sachs to his Cabinet that there’s no one left there to listen to Hillary’s speeches.” Pelosi said she was sorry Trump and his wife couldn’t be there, offering a greeting to the First Family, in Russian.
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, the Republicans’ featured speaker, joked that Pence was “one heartbeat away from being the second most-powerful person in the country” behind only White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
And a good time was had by all.
Before Pence’s performance, President Barack Obama attended the dinner three times while in the White House, famously joking, “Of course I love America. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have moved from Kenya.” Because, of course, back then Trump was best known as leader of the birther movement claiming Obama did not hold the office legally, having not been born on the U.S.
Sanders gave no ETA on a decision about the WHCA dinner, which Trump famously skipped last year, instead hosting a rally in Pennsylvania. Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee and gang responded by hosting the first, and Emmy-winning, Not the White House Correspondents Dinner.