Trump skipping the White House Correspondents' Dinner -- and he's not the only one


The White House Correspondents' Dinner has been the biggest social event in Washington, D.C. for years -- but Saturday's event is expected to be lame compared

One of the main differences is that President Trump will not be present; he announced his decision in late February.

"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!" he said in a tweet.

Instead, the president will travel to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to rally with supporters and members of his administration will also reportedly skip the annual event as a show of unity.

Images from Obama's last White House Correspondents Dinner

The lack of president has also drawn many of the celebrities away from the event.

As USA Today's Susan Page told the Washington Post, "This is clearly going to be different. Last year, I was at a table with Kendall Jenner, and this year I'm at a table with Madeleine Albright."

The event is also expected to have a more serious tone, as attendees focus on the president's relationship with the press and the importance of the First Amendment.

Meanwhile, the celebrities who do descend on Washington are expected to mostly convene at Samantha Bee's anti-WHCD event, dubbed the "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," which tapes Saturday afternoon.

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Some in the Washington press believe that a more sober tone may be a positive change, but others have expressed regret that Trump is the first president since Ronald Reagan not to attend.

"I think the president should go. I think that there's historically been one night of the year of detente, and that's a good and healthy thing for both sides," CNBC's Steve Liesman said.

Donald Trump's first 100 days in office

That said, Trump has said he would be open to attending future White House Correspondents' Association dinners, telling Reuters, "I would come next year, absolutely."