US president to skip correspondents’ dinner as media row heats up

US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about the federal budget in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, February 22, 2017. His relationship with the media is worsening. PHOTO | AFP

President Donald Trump ratcheted up an increasingly hostile feud with the media Saturday, announcing he will skip a century-old annual correspondents’ dinner a day after a fierce row erupted over press access to the White House.

The White House triggered widespread outrage on Friday by denying access to an off-camera briefing to several major US media, including CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and Politico.

Smaller outlets that have provided favourable coverage of the Trump administration, such as Breitbart and the One America News Network, received a green light to attend the briefing by the president’s spokesman Sean Spicer.

The move came just hours after Trump renewed his assault on the mainstream US media by calling it “the enemy of the people”, in an ongoing battle in which he has labeled the fourth estate “fake news” and the “opposition party”.