However, this year, now-President Trump won’t be in attendance. His decision came via a tweet in February. While it’s not traditional for a president to skip the event, Trump’s ongoing war with the media had many expecting that he wouldn’t be stopping by the Washington Hilton on the evening of the event.
The last president to skip the event was Ronald Reagan in 1981, though Reagan was recovering from a gunshot wound inflicted during an assassination attempt only days before, and he did call in to the event. Nixon also skipped the dinner twice.