WASHINGTON — President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally in Pennsylvania next Saturday rather than attend the annual dinner of White House correspondents.
“Next Saturday night I will be holding a BIG rally in Pennsylvania. Look forward to it!” Trump tweeted Saturday. His campaign website confirmed the details: A 7:30 p.m. ET rally at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center on April 29.
That’s the same time White House correspondents will be sitting down for dinner at the Washington Hilton, an annual event traditionally attended by the president. The last president to skip the dinner was President Reagan in 1981— and that was only because he was still recovering from an assassination attempt.
The rally comes on the 100th day of Trump’s presidency, a key yardstick by which presidents are historically judged on their legislative achievements. It’s also a year after his last visit to Harrisburg, in which he promised to win so much that the American people would beg him to stop winning.
And the campaign-sponsored event continues Trump’s post-inauguration pattern of political rallies in states he won last November. Previous rallies have been in Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 18, Nashville, Tenn., March 15 and Louisville, Ky., March 20. At each stop, he blasted the news media as being “fake” and “dishonest.”
But in declining the invitation to the correspondents’ dinner, Trump tweeted his regrets. “Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” he wrote. White House staffers, taking their cue from Trump, have also declined invitations to the dinner.