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The Latest: Chernow: All presidents have rough media times

April 28, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

11:00 p.m.

Historian Ron Chernow says presidents have always had differences with the press, but “they don’t need to be steeped in venom.”

Chernow was the featured speaker at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday night. The author of “Alexander Hamilton” represented a major change for the dinner, which in recent years has hired comedians as speakers.

President Donald Trump has refused to attend during his time in office and has called the media “enemies of the people.”

Chernow says “relations between presidents and the press are inevitably tough, almost always adversarial.”

In fact, he says, President George Washington also felt maligned and misunderstood by the press, but he never generalized that into a vendetta.

10:30 p.m.

The leader of the White House Correspondents’ Association says President Donald Trump’s nicknames of “fake news” and “enemy of the people” for the media does not make them “pet names, punchlines or presidential.”

This came at the organization’s annual Washington dinner on Saturday night. Trump and members of his staff including press secretary Sarah Sanders, skipped the dinner to attend a Wisconsin rally. Sanders was lampooned at the dinner last year in a way some found harsh.

Instead of a comic, historian and author Ron Chernow was the main speaker at the dinner.

The organization’s president, Olivier Knox, also read aloud a letter from Austin Tice’s family urging dinner guests to advocate for his release. Tice is a freelance journalist who was kidnapped while reporting in Syria in 2012.

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9:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is giving a rare shout-out to spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a triumphant rally in battleground Wisconsin.

From the stage of the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin Saturday, Trump invited “the great” Sanders to say a few words.

She noted that a year ago, she attended the White House Correspondents Dinner, where a comic lampooned her in a way some found harsh. Rather than the dinner, she said, she chose to come to the rally with Trump.

She told the crowd, “It’s pretty hot in this room tonight” and added “I’m so proud to work for the president.”

Trump replied that his spokeswoman “is becoming too popular,” riffing on his signature reality television line, “I’m telling you, Sarah, you’re fired!”

The crowd chuckled.

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8:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is cheering the thriving U.S. economy and criticizing his Democratic presidential opponents as he rallies supporters at an arena in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Trump scheduled the Saturday night rally at the same time the White House Correspondents’ Association has its annual dinner. Trump has refused the association’s invitation again, a break from past practice by the president.

Trump asked supporters, “Is there any place that’s more fun than a Trump rally?” And he assured them there’s no one he’d rather be with.

The president opened the rally on a somber note, offering his condolences for the victims of a synagogue shooting near San Diego.

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4 p.m.

After swatting golf balls by day with Japan’s prime minister, there’s a good chance President Donald Trump will try to take shots at the Mueller report on Saturday night.

He’s picked Green Bay, Wisconsin, for his first political rally since the bulk of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller was made public.

Trump has made plenty of lacerating comments about the report, and the crowd probably expects more.

Trump is again skipping the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington despite the tradition that presidents go.

He’s promising the rally will be a “big one” that’ll act as counterprogramming to the Washington dinner, which he calls “boring.” It coincides with the rally.

Wisconsin helped propel his 2016 victory and Democrats are focused on reclaiming the state in 2020.

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