President and first lady Trump announce they will not attend Kennedy Center Honors

Posted on: August 21, 2017

“President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have elected not to attend the annual Kennedy Center Honors in December amid a political backlash among those who will be feted at the event,” write David Nakamura, Amy B Wang, and Peter Marks in Saturday’s (8/19) Washington Post. “The first family will not participate ‘to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction,’ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.… The announcement comes as three of the five honorees—television producer Norman Lear, singer Lionel Richie, and dancer Carmen de Lavallade—said they would or may boycott the traditional White House reception related to the celebration” in response to Trump’s arts policies and his handling of the white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville last weekend. “As for the other two, rapper LL Cool J had not said whether he would attend, and Cuban American singer Gloria Estefan said she would go to try to influence the president on immigration issues.” The awards program and broadcast take place in December. “Kennedy Center board chairman David M. Rubenstein and president Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement that they respected Trump’s decision and were ‘grateful’ the spotlight would be focused on this year’s honorees at the gala.”

Posted August 21, 2017