Trump Excludes CNN from Annual Pre-State of the Union Lunch
President Donald Trump has singled out CNN for exclusion from the annual lunch before the State of the Union speech on Tuesday. President’s traditionally host members of the media for a meal before the speech but this year Trump has made a change by not inviting one network.
The off the record meal is generally used by news anchors to gauge the President’s state of mind and his intentions for the day’s speech, which is usually used to lay out his agenda for the coming year. Last year, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer attended.
Blitzer has been attending the pre-SOTU lunches for 20 years – longer than almost any other cable news anchor, so his exclusion is remarkable. Moreover, the other networks will be represented, despite the fact that some have been just as critical in their coverage,
However, Trump has frequently attacked CNN and his supporters and media surrogates have been keen to follow his lead, as they were during the 2016 election cycle. The other networks will reportedly attend despite the obvious snub to the network.
This appears to be the first time that a president has specifically excluded representatives from a particular cable news network from the annual tradition. Trump has made a habit of violating norms since coming to office in 2017. The White House has not issued a statement explaining the decision.