He’ll hold a rally instead, he said. Which is exactly what he’s done during the previous two dinners. This year, there was some speculation that since the association had done away with its long-standing tradition of having a comedian headline the dinner — and thus sling comic barbs at the president — that Trump might attend the friendlier event.
Trump is the only president to skip the dinner since Ronald Reagan, who was recovering from an assassination attempt at the time.
It’s unclear whether the administration will send along a guest to serve as the president’s proxy on the dais of the Washington Hilton. Last year, press secretary Sarah Sanders took the place traditionally held for her boss, and listened stoically as comedian Michelle Wolf aimed some punchlines at her.