The White House Correspondents Association also tapped "Daily Show" comedian Hasan Minhaj - who harshly criticized Trump at the Radio and Television correspondents' dinner past year - to perform Saturday.
"I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away", he told a crowd in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, calling out The New York Times, CNN and MSNBC by name.
It also didn't help that Trump took gleeful delight in making fun of the dinner at his "Make America Great Again" 100-day victory lap rally that took place Saturday evening in Harrisburg, Pa.
The speeches from the revered journalists came on the occasion of the first White House correspondents' dinner since 1981 in which the sitting president did not attend.
Trump became the first US President in decades to skip out on the annual event between the White House and the reporters who cover the presidency.
Alluding to Kellyanne Conway's alternative facts saga, the comedian went after the new administrations staunch position on immigration. That, he said, shows, "even the president is not beyond the reach of the First Amendment". Every time a USA Today slides underneath my door, it's like they re saying, 'Hey, you're not that smart, right?' USA Today is what happens when the coupon section takes over the newspaper. "They are gathered together for the White House Correspondents' dinner - without the President".
Next year's dinner might be "more exciting", he said. "(W) hen lying is combined with secrecy, there is usually a pretty good road map in front of us". That was the best joke he made out of a full 26 minute roast of President Donald Trump for his stance against the media. Trump ended up being the butt of the jokes that night from comedian Seth Meyers and Obama himself.
Several media organisations withdrew from the dinner in protest of Trump's treatment of the media before Trump decided he would not attend.
"We'll build the wall, people, don't even worry about it", he said. "So, boy, nobody needs press freedom more than we do", she told The Associated Press in an interview. "Undermining that by seeking to delegitimize journalists is unsafe to a healthy republic", he said to a standing ovation.
Probably the biggest problem that Minhaj had is that it felt like there were a ton of people out there who didn't actually get all of his humor. At the top of that list was placing conservative justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, rolling back environmental regulations on business, his meetings with other foreign leaders and signing orders that allow immigration agents to deport more people who are in the country illegally."For the last 100 days, my administration has been delivering on our promises", he said to a cheering crowd.
"It's a very long flight, it's a Saturday".
Rather than attending the annual dinner - where the president traditionally is the opening act for a well-known Hollywood comedian and is also the butt of numerous event's jokes - Trump opted to take a short trip from Washington to Pennsylvania where he visited a tool manufacturing company in Harrisburg and signed two executive orders focused on trade.