President Donald Trump will attend this year’s Gridiron Club Dinner, an annual gathering of politicians and journalists that will mark the first such appearance by the American leader known for his frequent outbursts against the media.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who confirmed Trump’s plans, however said “no decision has been made regarding the WHCA (White House Correspondents Association) dinner,” another high-profile meeting usually attended by the American president but that Trump skipped last year.
Instead of attending that dinner last year, which occurred on the same day that thousands of protesters surrounded the White House during a climate march, Trump instead rallied supporters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Claiming unfair coverage in the media, Trump said he was delighted to travel away from the “Washington swamp.”
“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now,” Trump said at the rally. “If the media’s job is to be honest and to tell the truth, the media deserves a very, very big fat failing grade.”
Lambasting the media
The president, who has regularly lambasted the media -- save Fox News and other media considered conservative -- has taken particular aim at CNN, posting a cartoon attacking the television network over the weekend.
The image was by cartoonist Tony Branco, who created an especially cringe-worthy cartoon of Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in blackface during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In the new cartoon, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer is shown leaning on a cane in the year 2038 as he declares: “Update! We should see evidence of Russia-Trump collusion any day now,” in reference to the probe of Russian meddling in the election.
The president has also tweeted an image of the CNN logo with what looks like blood splatter under his shoe, a cartoon of a “Trump” train running into a person with the CNN logo on his face and a wrestling video edited to show Trump slamming into someone whose head is replaced by the CNN logo.