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Trump cancels White House Christmas party for press: report

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President Donald Trump has reportedly canceled the decades-old annual White House Christmas party for the media.

Fox News reported on Thursday morning that Trump had canceled the event. It said the White House didn’t announce the cancelation. Fox didn’t explain where the information came from.

The event is intended for members of the press and White House officials to socialize and act as a peace-making exercise after a year of tension. The party is usually held in early to mid-December and is off the record, though it offers the opportunity for journalists to mix with each other and with White House officials.

The Washington Post reported on December 8 that the fate of the party was unclear as nobody in the White House had scheduled the event, despite Christmas getting close.

The news comes amid Trump’s hostility to the press, and his frequent claim of “fake news.”

He has repeatedly called the media the “enemy of the people” and frequently spars both with individual journalists and with outlets including CNN, The New York Times and the Washington Post.

CNN boycotted the party in 2017, due to President Donald Trump’s “continued attacks” on journalists. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded with a dig at the network, tweeting: “Christmas comes early! Finally, good news from @CNN.”

CNN contributor April Ryan was left off the 2017 guest list, the Washington Post reported, and the party was also moved to the afternoon on a weekday, making it harder for reporters to bring spouses or children.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump also skipped the tradition of posing for photos with reporters, according to the Post. Obama-era parties featured even reporters form minor outlets getting to meet the president and pose for a picture.

The White House has dramatically cut the amount of time it spends with the press under Trump: just one briefing took place in the whole month of September.

Trump has also skipped the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner two years in a row.

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