Embattled White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that President Donald Trump and members of his administration will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year because it wouldn’t be appropriate for them to “fake it” and pretend to enjoy having themselves lampooned by the media.
TheHill.com said that Spicer was appearing at a Newseum event in Washington on Wednesday when he said, “The relationship [with the press] and the coverage we have gotten, I don’t think we should fake it.”
“I don’t think watching a bunch of celebrities walk by is any indication how much you care about and respect the press,” he said.
The Hill said, “Spicer originally announced in March that administration officials would not attend due to ‘unfair coverage’ out of ‘solidarity.'”
Trump and his administration’s mouthpieces have repeatedly decried media coverage of their time thus far in the White House as unfair and unnecessarily negative. Trump went so far earlier this year as to call members of the media the “enemies of the American people.”
The president announced shortly after taking office that he would not be attending the dinner. Although on Wednesday, Spicer left open the possibility that the administration will consider attending 2018’s dinner.
On Tuesday, the White House Correspondents’ Association announced that “Daily Show” correspondent Hasan Minhaj will host the 2017 dinner.
Spicer is currently under fire for his remarks on Tuesday comparing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler in which he said even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons “on his own people.”