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Trump admin officials will not attend White House correspondents' dinner

Comedian Wolf performs at the White House Correspondents' Association dinne
Comedian Michelle Wolf performs at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington on April 28, 2018. Copyright Aaron Bernstein Reuters
Copyright Aaron Bernstein Reuters
By Hallie Jackson and Dartunorro Clark with NBC News Politics
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Trump took to Twitter earlier Tuesday to criticize several news outlets, including MSNBC, CNN and The New York Times.


President Donald Trump isn't the only one who won't be attending the White House Correspondents' Association dinner this year.

Administration officials also won't be at the annual black-tie event, which takes place Saturday night, a White House official confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday.

"The President and members of his administration will not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this year," the official said. "Instead, Saturday evening President Trump will travel to Green Bay, Wisconsin where he will hold a campaign rally."

Politico first reported the boycott, which comes as Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to deride MSNBC's "Morning Joe" as "Morning Psycho," blast CNN as "a proven and long term ratings and beyond disaster," ask whether The New York Times would "get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness" for its coverage, and praise Fox News' "Fox and Friends" as "by far the best of the morning political shows on television."

This year marks the third consecutive year that the president will skip thenearly 100-year-old event. Trump said earlier this month that he would not attend the dinner, telling reporters that the event was "negative" and "boring."

The association's president, Olivier Knox, did not address the White House boycott in a statement Tuesday.

"We're looking forward to an enjoyable evening of celebrating the First Amendment and great journalists past, present, and future," Knox said, repeating the statement he made when Trump announced he personally would not attend.

The dinner, which celebrates the First Amendment and raises scholarship money for budding journalists, is no stranger to controversy; last year, comedian Michelle Wolf drew criticism for ridiculing White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, as well as other administration officials, in her monologue.

Wolf, a former correspondent on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," compared Sanders to a ruthless figure in the dystopian show "The Handmaid's Tale." She added that Sanders "burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye," referring to her makeup.

Others, including many fellow comics, defended Wolf's act, which also ribbed Democrats and the media, saying she spoke truth to power and spared no one.

The association, however, issued a statement saying the comedian's monologue "was not in the spirit" of its mission. Wolf has since said she does not regret her performance.

In response to the backlash, the association announced in November that it would break with the tradition of having a comedian host the event and roast the Washington elite. Instead, famed biographer Ron Chernow, author of comprehensive tomes about Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and Ulysses S. Grant, will be the featured speaker.

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