President Trump has made it clear that the White House Correspondents' Dinner isn't exactly his favorite event, but now it's become clear that numerous organizations tried to make it even more of a challenge for him to face. People reported that numerous organizations invited Stormy Daniels to the White House Correspondents' Dinner — and she turned them all down.
Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti confirmed to People that Daniels had received numerous invitations but had not accepted any of them. He also said that he would be attending himself, on an invitation from the Associated Press.
In many ways, Daniels is a natural Correspondents' Dinner invitee, as so much news in the past couple of months has centered directly around her. It's a flashy, celebrity-laden affair — but Daniels is apparently turning down the spotlight. Perhaps the publications that invited her meant to rib the president by inviting a woman who claims she had an affair with him (which the White House denies). The effort may have fallen flat, though, as the president announced in early April that he would not be attending for the second year in a row. Instead, he'll be heading up a rally in Washington Township, Michigan.
"While the fake news media will be celebrating themselves with the denizens of Washington society in the swamp that evening, President Trump will be in a completely different Washington, celebrating our national economic revival with patriotic Americans," said Michael Glassner, Trump's campaign chief operating officer, in a press release.
Even if Trump and Daniels won't be there themselves, much of the conversation is likely to revolve around them, and around what Trump so often refers to as the "fake news." While Trump hasn't commented on the Stormy story himself, he did bemoan the "fake news" after Daniels went on CBS' 60 Minutes for an extended interview. And as the dinner celebrates the First Amendment and specifically its guarantee of a strong and free press, the attacks that the free press routinely receives from the White House will certainly come up in the comedic routines and roasting that typically takes place at the event.
Both Avenatti and Daniels herself have remained mum on the issue of why she won't be attending the dinner, but her decision to stay away is far less of a break from tradition than the president's absence is. She certainly would have drawn a fair amount of attention, but it's typically the president who is the star of the show.
Obama certainly always seemed to enjoy the event, even conspiring with comedian and host Seth Meyers in 2011 to give one Mr. Donald J. Trump several minutes of roasting. Trump insulted Meyers' performance after the dinner, where he had received all of that attention because of his then-ongoing crusade to force Obama to prove his citizenship. Before Obama, though, every president made an effort to attend every year since Reagan missed it in 1981 for health reasons. Even before that, no president has missed all of them since Calvin Coolidge resided in the Oval Office in the 1920s. President Nixon, however, did miss the dinner three times.
Because of their refusals to come, the White House Correspondents' Dinner won't give the world a chance to witness a showdown between the president and the adult film star. The Stormy Daniels case has still brought a host of problems to the Trump administration, though, so it's likely that you'll keep seeing her face in the news, even if you won't see it at the star event celebrating the news. As president, Trump doesn't need the publicity that the dinner would bring — but he's getting some anyway.