President Donald Trump is continuing to actively campaign against what he considers "fake news" and the "dishonest media."
Yesterday (Feb. 24), the president chose to ban five different outlets from attending an informal briefing, with many claiming the move to be an unfair attack on the press. He then went on to announce via Twitter that he will not be attending the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, further proving that his relationship with the press continues to be abhorrently strained.
As reported, press secretary Sean Spicer banned CNN, the New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and Buzzfeed from attending the non-televised meeting, referring to the gathering as a "gaggle."
The Trump administration responded to criticisms regarding the non-inclusive nature of the president's actions in defense of the move, saying that the invitations were fair.
"We invited the pool so everyone was represented," deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders stated via email. "We decided to add a couple of additional people beyond the pool for an expanded pool. Nothing more than that."
Outlets who were involved in the meeting included Fox News, Breitbart and the Washington Times, as well as CBS, NBC, ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Time and the Associated Press. In a move of solidarity, Time and the AP both denied the invitation to attend, opting out in order to support the five blocked outlets.
National Press Club President Jeffrey Ballou was one of many who reacted to the news, saying that the Trump Administration's decision to ban certain members of the press was “deeply disturbing and completely unacceptable that the White House is actively running a campaign against a constitutionally enshrined free and independent press … The action harks back to the darkest chapters of U.S. history and reeks of undemocratic, un-American and unconstitutional censorship.”
Trump's tweet claiming that he will not be attending this year's correspondents' dinner arrives just over a month before the scheduled date, April 29. Following his announcement, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association confirmed that the dinner will still take place even in the president's absence.
"[The dinner] 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," WHCA president Jeff Mason confirmed. "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."
Considering this serious move by POTUS, it doesn't appear as though his severely stormy relationship with the media will be changing anytime soon.
See Trump's decision to not attend the event in the post below.
(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)