US President Donald Trump announced on Saturday (25 February) that he will not attend this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. The president has had a fraught relationship with the press and has even called the media the "enemy of the American people".
"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!" Trump tweeted.
The president's announcement comes as several news organisations have hinted that they may not want to participate in this year's event, The Hill reported. CNN and MSNBC are allegedly considering skipping the dinner, while other media outlets have pulled out from after-parties.
The dinner, hosted at the Washington Hilton, honours reporters who cover the White House and also awards scholarships to aspiring journalists. The annual event is also attended by celebrity guests, the president and vice president.
Trump's announcement on Twitter led to a rush of responses, with many poking fun at the president.
Jeff Mason, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, released a statement noting that the event will continue despite Trump's announcement. "The White House Correspondents' Association looks forward to having its annual dinner on April 29. 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."
The statement continued: "We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession."