Donald Trump has opted out of attending the Kennedy Center Honors for the second consecutive year, with the White House explaining that the remaining weeks of 2018 are “the busiest time of the year for the East Wing.”
That’s the word today from Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s director of communications, the AP reports. Grisham said neither Donald nor Melania Trump will attend the gala, scheduled for Dec. 2. Among those being honored are Cher and “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, both of whom have been critical of Trump.
“Grisham also told The Associated Press it was ‘not likely’ any new winners of the National Medal of Arts, National Humanities Medal or National Medal of Science would be announced before the end of the year,” the AP reports. “Tuesday’s announcements continue the Trump administration’s unprecedented distance from the arts and science communities. No arts or humanities medals have been announced or handed out since September 2016, when Barack Obama was president — the longest gap by months since the awards were established in the mid-1980s. No science medals have been given since May 2016.”
Grisham cited schedule conflicts, noting that Trump is expected to attend the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month.