White House arranges tours of Christmas decor for press, but nixes traditional party

Fox News reported Thursday that President Donald Trump canceled this year's media party, a decades-old tradition.
Image: The National Christmas Tree in President Park in Washington on Nov. 28, 2018.
The National Christmas Tree in President Park in Washington on Nov. 28, 2018.Susan Walsh / AP file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Monica Alba and Allan Smith

WASHINGTON — There won't be a White House Christmas party for reporters this year, but members of the press could still admire the decor, a White House official said Thursday.

Although the Christmas press party "was not put on the holiday schedule this year," the official told NBC News, the White House has "accommodated members of the media and their families who have asked to see the holiday decorations by arranging White House Open House Tours for them."

The news came hours after Fox News reported that President Donald Trump canceled this year's press party, a decades-old tradition. Many of the other traditional holiday receptions are still going on as planned.

The president has often attacked the media and has, even recently, decried fake news and labeled certain press as "the enemy of the people." Many in his administration, including first lady Melania Trump, have taken a critical, heated tone when it comes to coverage the White House deems negative.

The Trumps briefly attended last year's party, but did not pose for pictures with members of the press — a tradition of the event. Trump has eschewed other traditional Washington D.C. events with the press, such as the White House Correspondents Dinner, which he has refused to attend in his first two years as president.

That dinner was attended by every president since Richard Nixon.