Donald and Melania Trump announced Saturday that they would not attend this year’s Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, which will honor LL Cool J, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, TV producer Norman Lear and dancer-choreographer Carmen de Lavallade.
“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 White House said Saturday in a statement.
“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. First lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald J. Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”
The event is scheduled for December 3rd at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, with a broadcast date of December 26th. At the event, celebrating its 40th anniversary, honorees are usually seated with the current President and First Lady of the United States.
Skipping D.C. traditions has become a tradition in itself for Trump, who in April opted not to attend the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.
Trump’s decision comes just days after both Lear and de Lavallade said in separate statements that, while they would attend the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, they were skipping the pre-ceremony reception for honorees at the White House, the New York Times reports.
“In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our…
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