President Donald Trump will host French President Emmanuel Macron for a state dinner at the White House this week, but unlike in years past, members of the opposing political party — and White House reporters — won't be invited to take part in the event.
The dinner marks the first official state dinner in the White House to feature "full ceremonial honors," according to ABC News, and is being held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, and as a way of solidifying an alliance inked last week when France and the United States joined forces as part of a coalition targeting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons manufacturing facilities.
But The Hill reports that only a handful of lawmakers have been asked to attend the dinner — Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell have received official invites, and neither Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer, nor members of the White House press, have been offered a seat at the table.
Media was quick to note that this was likely a deliberate break with tradition. When former President Obama feted Macron's predecessor, that state dinner featured everyone from CNN's Jeff Zucker to recording artist Mary J. Blige. But unlike Obama, Trump has preferred quieter affairs when it comes to entertaining foreign dignitaries. The White House even is a strange locale for a presidential party; Trump hosts most foreign leaders as his Florida estate.