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Trump going to press dinner: Olive branch or chance to skewer the media?

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The world may little note nor long remember whether Donald Trump shows up at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

But it’s a very big deal in the Beltway media community.

It’s a bit of an olive branch, in my view, for the president to be attending this year’s Gridiron Dinner. But it takes place outside of public view. There are no cameras, no pictures, and journalists put on skits that take mild jabs rather than hiring a professional comedian who is certain to skewer the president.

There was plenty of chatter after the Daily Mail reported that Trump will also be attending the annual Washington Hilton gala put on by the White House Correspondents Association. But Sarah Huckabee Sanders says no decision has been made.

He’s gotten a bit more used to the barrage of negative coverage he draws as president. Trump was really stunned and angry about it in his first few months, and he did more than just blow off the dinner. By counterprogramming–denouncing the media in a Pennsylvania speech on the night of the Correspondents Dinner–he was giving journalists a finger in the eye by preempting their big night. He saw no reason he should hobnob with people who he viewed as hostile and be ridiculed by a comedian.

Trump ripped the media as a “disgrace” and declared: “The Washington media is part of the problem Their priorities are not my priorities and they’re not your priorities.” He also lambasted his least favorite cable channels, telling the crowd that “CNN and MSNBC are fake news.”

Meanwhile, organizations like Vanity Fair and the New Yorker canceled their prom weekend parties, and few celebrities attended the dinner. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein spoke in defense of the press, with Woodward, while acknowledging mistakes in the news business, announcing: “Mr. President, the media is not fake news.”

Trump’s opinion of the mainstream media isn’t much higher than it was then, but he allows more access than he did in those days, not through formal news conferences but by constantly stopping to answer questions.

For all of Trump’s animosity toward the press, there’s a deeper level on which he wants to win them over. He holds off-the-record meetings with anchors like Chuck Todd. He keeps giving interviews to the “failing” New York Times. And he knows there would be drama surrounding his appearance this year after he pointedly blew off the dinner last year.

And that would translate into big ratings. Huge.

I suspect that Trump wants to beat the media on their own turf. He could sit up on that dais, skewer the press in his speech, and grin or grimace through the comedian’s jokes.

Remember, this is a man who sat at the 2011 dinner and had to take it while Barack Obama ridiculed him over the birther conspiracy.

I suspect that Trump wants to return as president and create a very different reality show.

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U.S. has administered over 309 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, CDC says

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The United States had administered 309,322,545 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and distributed 374,398,105 doses in the country as of Sunday morning, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Those figures were up from the 308,112,728 doses of vaccine that the CDC said had been administered as of Saturday, out of 374,397,205 doses delivered.

The agency said 173,840,483 people in the United States had received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 143,921,222 people were fully vaccinated as of 6 a.m. ET on Sunday.

The CDC tally includes the two-dose vaccines from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc/BioNTech/ as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine.

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Nigel Farage SHOULD be honoured for 'services to EU exit' – 'He's the man of the Century!'

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DOZENS of influential figures have been rewarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for their services to Brexit – but one former MEP has pointed out that Nigel Farage has been excluded.

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Queen Elizabeth II hosts Bidens at Windsor Castle

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LONDON — They met Friday at the Group of Seven summit, but President Joe Biden and the first lady had an altogether more private meeting with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, at her home in Windsor Castle.

The monarch, 95, received the Bidens for tea at her historic residence, about 30 miles west of London. On arrival they were greeted with an official Guard of Honor military parade, which gave a royal salute and played the American national anthem.

Biden stood next to the queen in the sunshine, wearing his aviator sunglasses, before inspecting the troops in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle, last seen on television during the somber funeral ceremony of her husband, Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April.

The queen has stoically continued with her official duties since then and met Biden alongside other world leaders and their spouses on Friday at the G-7 summit, by the seaside in Cornwall, southwest England.

There, she amused leaders when she quipped during a photo-call: “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourselves?”

Biden first met the queen in 1982 as a Democratic senator for Delaware but this time he joined her as president. He is the 13th serving president the monarch has met. She has met every serving American president since Dwight Eisenhower — except Lyndon Johnson who did not travel to Britain while in office.

As a 25-year-old princess in 1951, she also stayed with President Harry S. Truman and his family in Washington, D.C.

The queen has hosted four other American presidents at Windsor Castle in recent years, including former-President Donald Trump in 2018, who shocked press and palace pundits when he breached royal protocol by walking ahead of the queen, at times blocking her view and giving her his back.

After a state visit in 2019, Trump told Fox News: “There are those that say they have never seen the queen have a better time.”

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On arrival to England last week, first lady Jill Biden told reporters that meeting the queen was “an exciting part of the visit for us.”

She also undertook a separate engagement with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when the two visited a school on Friday.

Kate told NBC News during the visit that she was looking forward to meeting her new niece, Lilibet Diana, born in California earlier this month.

Britain’s royal family have had a turbulent year in the public eye following a bombshell interview given by the queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

The couple stunned viewers with allegations of royal racism — denied by the palace — while Meghan also spoke publicly about how royal life and media pressure had taken its toll on her mental health.

After taking private afternoon tea with the queen on Sunday, Biden will then travel to nearby Brussels for a NATO summit, before heading to Switzerland on Wednesday for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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