President Donald Trump will attend his first dinner with journalists at the Gridiron Club on March 3 this year after chastising the nation’s top media outlets consistently throughout his first year in office.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement Monday confirming Trump’s plans to attend the prestigious journalism club’s annual dinner, but said the President has not yet made a decision about the White House Correspondents’ 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,” Sanders said in her statement. “Will keep you posted when there is an update.”
Last year, Trump skipped both the Gridiron and the Correspondents Association’s dinner. He announced the decision on Twitter last year: “I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” he tweeted.
Trump was the first president since Ronald Reagan to skip the annual affair. Reagan had to take a rain check in 1981 because he was recovering in the hospital from an assassination attempt.
Trump has been increasingly hostile toward the media since taking office and during his campaign. He regularly uses his Twitter platform to castigate individual journalists and cry “Fake News” about reporting that does not paint him in a favorable light. Trump released a list of “Fake News Award” winners on the Republican National Committee’s website in January. The “awards” were primarily a list of mistakes that were promptly corrected or retracted by news outlets.
While in Davos, Switzerland last month at the global economic summit, some of Trump’s complaints about the “fake news” media were met with boos and hisses from the crowd.