“Hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country,” Curry said, as others on his championship team considered whether to accept.
“I don’t think us not going to White House is going to miraculously make everything better,” he said. But, “this is my opportunity to voice that.”
Except, Curry didn’t even get the chance to not go to the White House. In a tweet the morning after his comments, Trump summarily uninvited the guard and his entire team.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
This puzzled some people — like LeBron James, who wrote to the president: “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite.”
But if James has been paying attention, he might notice that Trump has developed a habit of preemptively scuttling projects that were already circling the drain.
The CEO council
Curry has never been a Trump fan. Months ago, when he learned that Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank had called the new president a “real asset,” the basketball player quipped to CNBC:
“I agree with that description — if you remove the ‘et’ ”
But by mid-August, Plank had become one of several business advisers who resigned from the president’s American Manufacturing Council in the wake of Trump's infamous comments comparing white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville to protesters who opposed them.
“Earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich wrote. “I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.”
The council looked headed toward collapse as other executives followed suit. At first, Trump lashed out at defectors and vowed to replace them.
For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2017
Then, one day later, he pulled the plug himself.
“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum. I am ending both,” Trump wrote.
The Kennedy Center
Trump also has a habit of removing himself from events he senses he won’t be welcome at.
As in the business world, his belated condemnation of white nationalist groups at the Charlottesville rally caused a backlash in the arts community in August.
Three of the Kennedy Center gala’s five honorees — TV producer Norman Lear, singer Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade — indicated that they would or could boycott the White House reception in December, where the president traditionally offers kind words to each.
But Trump preempted any boycotts when the White House released a statement in August saying he and the first lady would not attend the Kennedy Center Honors “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”
The White House reception would also be canceled for the first time in the awards’ history, the Kennedy Center announced afterward.
Kennedy Center officials said in a statement that they were “grateful” for Trump’s gesture.
“In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities, the Administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the Honorees,” the statement read.
The White House correspondents’ dinner
His early decision to forgo the Kennedy Center Honors was reminiscent of his abrupt Twitter announcement in February that he would not attend the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in April.
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said then on ABCs “This Week” it would be “naive” for Trump to go to the dinner, as most presidents in recent history had done, after a campaign in which he had frequently clashed with the media.
“You know, one of the things we say in the South [is], ‘If a Girl Scout egged your house, would you buy cookies from her?’ I think that this is a pretty similar scenario,” Sanders added. “There’s no reason for him to go in and sit and pretend like this is going to be just another Saturday night.”
Nevertheless, the dinner took place as scheduled. Trump ended up holding a rally in Pennsylvania the same night, where he appealed to his base and emphasized the size of his crowd.
“I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from the Washington swamp spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd, and much better people,” Trump said.
These aren’t the only examples. As the GOP’s legislative effort to reform U.S. health care has thrashed between life and death this year, so has Trump’s embrace of the project.
The president spent the summer cajoling as Republicans struggled to pass a replacement for Obama-era health insurance laws.
“Go Republican Senators, Go!” Trump wrote before a crucial last-ditch vote in July, for example.
But after the bill failed by one vote, apparently dooming the effort, Trump acted as though this had been his plan all along:
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
That was back in July. Lately, there’s been another attempt to revive health-care reform, and Trump’s tune has changed accordingly.
Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as "the Republican who saved ObamaCare."
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017