A White House known for disrupting norms is breaking with yet another annual tradition and does not have plans to host a holiday party this year for members of the press.
“The White House Christmas press party was not put on the holiday schedule this year,” a White House official said Thursday, adding that “we have accommodated members of the media and their families who have asked to see the holiday decorations” by arranging open White House tours for them.
The White House did not give a reason for not scheduling the gathering.
The annual party had been panned by some critics, who said it blurred the ethical line between White House reporters and those they cover. The event is often attended by media executives, and network anchors have been known to fly into town to attend. Presidents of both parties have been criticized in the past for excluding journalists who covered their administrations less favorably.
Trump’s White House did host a party for the press in 2017, though he and first lady Melania Trump attended only briefly and delivered remarks to the journalists gathered before leaving. Fox News first reported Thursday that there would be no 2018 gathering.