Hasan Minhaj Will Host The White House Correspondents Dinner

by Natasha Guzmán
Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

President Trump may be too angry at the media to attend, but comedian Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show will host the White House Correspondents Dinner and surely make the event worthy of watching anyway. Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents Association, shared the news Tuesday morning on Morning Joe.

In late February, President Trump, who's been in an never-ending feud with the mainstream media since the moment he announced his intention to run for office, announced tweeted that he'd be skipping the annual celebration. "I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year," he wrote. "Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!"

Mason acknowledged that the president's absence would make for a "different dinner," but that despite this fact, the WHCA would still get together to acknowledge the importance of a free press and First Amendment rights.

Still, while hosts and speakers at this annual dinner are typically expected to roast the current president and other political figures, Mason pointed out that Minhaj would be bringing more than just biting jokes to the table.

"[Hasan] brings comedy chops but he also brings heart, and I think that we're going to see that at this dinner," he said in his Morning Joe interview. "He's going to make some jokes, no doubt about the press and probably about the president, but he's also going to bring the message that we hope to bring across that night, and that is that the First Amendment is critical and the work of the White House press corps and journalists around the world is very important."

“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!" Minhaj said in a statement, mocking President Trump's style of tweeting. "Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”

The comedian, who joined The Daily Show in November 2014, is Muslim and has sharply criticized the some of president's policies for being Islamophobic. After the January executive order enacting a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries was implemented, Minjaj sarcastically thanked Trump for the ban, saying it led to one of the best airport experiences he'd ever had.

“Usually, being a Muslim at an airport sucks. But this weekend, it was like I was the Weeknd […] Literally three white people ran up to me to thank me for being Muslim [...] Just look at what he’s done at the airport: White women were turning their scarves into hijabs. Muslims were publicly praying, and people were cheering them on! Congratulations, Mr. President. Mission accomplished."

The dinner will take place on April 29.