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U.S. president a no-show at White House dinner for journalists

April 29, 2017 - UNITED STATES

The 101st White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) Dinner in the capital makes news in 2017 because President Donald Trump, feuding with the mainstream media, is snubbing the event. He plans a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on the same day, which happens to be his 100th day in office.

The announcement that Trump would skip the dinner prompted calls for the actor who regularly impersonates Trump to stand in. He will be the first president in 36 years to skip the annual awards event for journalists. Ronald Reagan, recovering from an assassination attempt, missed the 1981 dinner.

He is expected to use the rally to lay out actions that he regards as achievements by the 100-day milestone.

Echoing disgraced former president Richard Nixon, Trump called the press the "enemy of the American people," in a recent tweet, and has made attacking news organizations a staple of his public remarks.

The president, who uses the social media web site Twitter to air grievances and sometimes announce policy, posted on Feb 25: "Donald J. Trump ? @realDonaldTrump -I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!"

Trump's announcement fired up social media calls for actor Alec Baldwin to take his place at the event, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Baldwin's impressions of Trump have been a staple of Saturday Night Live since before the election, and the popularity of his impersonation had several stars calling for Baldwin to attend in the absent president's place - in character.

Trump Will Be First President In 36 Years To Skip White House Correspondents Dinner (NPR 25 Feb 2017)

Calls for Trump to be replaced by Alec Baldwin at White House press dinner (Hollywood Reporter 26 Feb 2017)

Date written/update: 2017-04-23