President Donald Trump on Saturday announced via Twitter that he won’t be attending the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
“Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” he tweeted Saturday afternoon.
The announcement comes amid escalating tension between the White House press corps and Trump, who recently dubbed a number of mainstream outlets as the “enemy of the people.”
It also follows reports that media outlets such as CNN have been weighing whether to attend the event this year. Bloomberg also announced on Friday it would cancel its after-party, but said it would still attend the dinner.
Jeff Mason, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said Saturday that the dinner would go on as planned.
“The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic,” Mason said.
On Friday, reporters from several outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, and Politico, were barred from attending a press gaggle with White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
The WHCA vehemently objected to the move, saying in a statement it “will be discussing this further with White House staff.”
The annual dinner, held in April, is typically attended by an array of media outlets and celebrities, as well as the president, administration officials, and prominent politicians. A high-profile comedian usually emcees the event, and the president delivers a monologue.
The dinner also raises money for student scholarships and presents journalism awards.