Where Is Donald Trump? The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Won’t Be Graced With His Presence This Year
When tuning into the celeb-laden event of the year, you'll notice a certain someone isn't there. Contrary to past years, Donald Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday. No, Obama's 2011 birther jokes, delivered with an impressive poker face, aren't to blame. Neither is the fact that politicians from Trump's worst collective enemy — the establishment GOP — will be in attendance. According to The Donald himself, only the press is to blame. The real-estate mogul is sick of picking up a paper the morning after the event and reading about how much he allegedly hated it. Says Trump:
In fact, Trump doesn't even claim to have been bothered by the president's harsh jokes about him during the 2011 WHCD. Before Obama was re-elected to office, the businessman had insisted that he show his birth certificate to prove he was born in the United States, because apparently one can never be too sure. Finally, he got his wish. Obama, after showing he was born in Hawaii, most certainly wasn't ready to let Trump live it down; he used the incident for inspiration.
To be fair, Trump certainly didn't look miserable. Though he seemed initially distressed, he eventually gave in and laughed at himself. Later, he even told the press he was "very honored" by the attention. And he probably wasn't lying considering he voluntarily allowed Seth MacFarlane to roast him that same year. Retrospectively, that comment makes all too much sense since he's become an expert at profiting off of both positive and negative publicity.
However, there may be more behind Trump's absence since he's gone from celebrity to major political player. For one, it's safe to say the White House doesn't particularly want him there. During a news conference in Rancho Mirage, California in February, Obama commented on a potential Trump presidency:
In other words, Obama said that America is better than Trump. Good sport or not, I wouldn't want to attend that dinner if I were The Donald. Now, only one question remains: Will Trump jokes be more abrasive in his absence? Most likely. The Hollywood Reporter's Chris Gardner asked Larry Wilmore how many Trump jokes are too many. Wilmore answered 900 or 1,000, saying:
But as Wilmore pointed out, the GOP front-runner's a billionaire and clearly not afraid to parade that fact. So why should he care?