President Donald Trump has ended a decades-long tradition of inviting members of the media to a Christmas dinner at the White House, due to his ongoing frustration with the way many report on his administration, Fox News reported.
Traditionally, the White House press corps, along with a plus one, as well as many news anchors, commentators and New York media executives attend the invitation-only event.
Fox reported that the Christmas gathering “ was a significant perk for those covering the White House.”
“Journalists who attended the events, which featured a catered buffet of lamb chops, crab claws, and elaborate desserts, got to roam the decorated mansion with a spouse or other family member, a friend or a colleague, adding to the invitation’s allure,” Fox reported.
“But the biggest fringe-benefit was the picture-taking sessions, in which the president and first lady would patiently pose with guests and briefly chat with them in front of a Christmas tree, with the White House sending out the photos — copies of which were invariably sent home to mom.”
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According to the network, the photo op would consist of the first couple standing in front of a Christmas tree for hours, while long lines of those in the media crossed the entire first floor.
“Top White House officials, especially the communications staff, routinely circulated at these media parties and often talked shop,” Fox reported.
“Last year, chief of staff John Kelly held forth with reporters for at least 15 minutes, making informal remarks that turned into a mini-press conference.”
The White House did not specify why they were dropping the party, and this administration held the event last December. However, they did not pose for pictures, and the president made only a brief appearance with first lady Melania Trump, at which time he offered a few welcoming statements, according to Fox.