In recent days, the president faced protest resignations from a number of his advisory boards, and, in a stunt designed to avoid any further public humiliation on the part of the president, he has responded to each of the incidents by either disbanding the board in question or saying he was going to.
Now, here is another case of the president pulling the “you can’t break up with me if I break up with you first” trick.
In recent days, two attendees of this winter’s Kennedy Center awards announced that they would be skipping a traditional White House reception held in conjunction with the awards ceremony.
Now, the president and his wife say that they won’t actually be holding a reception. They won’t even be going to the awards ceremony itself, which the president and first lady traditionally attend.
In a rare and curious moment of apparent clarity on the Trump Administration’s part, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement on behalf of the president this Saturday reading, in part:
‘Each year, the Kennedy Center honors the careers and achievements of artists who have helped shape cultural life in the United States with a weekend that includes celebrations and events…the President and first lady have decided not to participate in this year’s activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.’
The statement, which you can read below, adds that the president and the first lady “extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”
As mentioned, this announcement comes on the heels of two honorees of this year’s Kennedy Center awards ceremony announcing that they would be skipping the White House reception traditionally held in conjunction with the ceremony.
One of those who announced their intended boycott of the reception — Norman Lear — pointed out something worth remembering in this situation — it’s not as though the president has ever been very fond of the arts in the first place.
‘This is a presidency that has chosen to neglect totally the arts and humanities — deliberately defund them — and that doesn’t rest pleasantly with me.’
In a feat of under the table sarcasm, the Kennedy Center has responded to the White House’s announcement by saying that they are “grateful” for the president’s decision.
Their statement — which you can read in full below — reads, in part:
‘In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities, the Administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the Honorees. We are grateful for this gesture.’
Check out Twitter’s thoughts below.
Featured Image via Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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