The White House Correspondents' Dinner tends to be one of the lighter events on the political calendar. Over the last eight years, Barack Obama used it to mock people in Washington D.C. and beyond, following a tradition set by Presidents past.
President Donald Trump has made it clear he has little fondness for political traditions, and he won't be making an exception for the annual get together. Trump announced via Twitter on Saturday that he wouldn't be attending this spring's dinner:
People from all walks of life weighed in on his decision, and they let him know exactly how they felt:
Given his adversarial relationship with the press, a chance to confront the journalists who cover him head on (and with time for writers to prep him for it) would seem to be an ideal scenario for President Trump. Since he's forgoing the opportunity to do so, there are numerous theories emerging regarding Trump's decision to skip the dinner.
There's a chance POTUS still holds a grudge from an embarrassing evening he had at the Correspondents' Dinner back in 2011, when then President Obama spent over five minutes heckling the birther movement, setting his sights at one point on Trump himself:
Trump's handling of the D.C. press also puts him in a precarious position in terms of attendance for the event. Crowd size is a thing he has frequently obsessed over, and this may have been his way of getting ahead of journalism outlets planning to boycott the event. The dinner this year will compete directly with a similar function hosted by Samantha Bee of TBS' Full Frontal.
Whatever the reasoning, it's a bold move even for Trump. The last American president to skip the Correspondents' Dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981, who was busy trying to recover from an assassination attempt. Despite missing the dinner, Reagan was able to phone in prepared remarks and even make light of the attempt on his life.