Here’s What Went Down at 27th Annual White House Correspondents’ Weekend Garden Brunch

By A.J. Katz 

The return of an in-person White House Correspondents’ Dinner means the return of the ever-popular White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch.

The 27th edition of the Garden Brunch was co-hosted by TV news executive-turned PR consultant Tammy Haddad with Bloomberg’s Kevin Sheekey; MSNBC The 11th Hour host Stephanie Ruhle; Washington Week moderator/NBC News analyst Yamiche Alcindor; Cafe Milano owner Franco Nuschese; Clinton Foundation’s Craig Minassian; and KnightSwan’s Teresa Carlson. The event was once again held at Beall-Washington House in Georgetown, which is the home of Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein and Sally Ein, who also serve as event co-hosts.

Tammy Haddad


The 27th annual brunch was attended by a variety of media personalities, executives and government officials, including Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who honored ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff and and Lt. General Donna W. Martin during the event. Blue Star Families and Dog Tag Bakery were also recognized.

Bob Woodruff

“I have the best job in Washington,” Buttigieg proclaimed, before introducing Lt. General Martin. “A few of you might be under the impression you have the best job in Washington, but I’m sure that I do because my colleagues and I get to build the future. It’s fitting for us to come together and note whatever is we’re doing, we’re doing thanks to the courage of America’s veterans.”

Sec. Pete Buttigieg

Lt. Gen. Donna Martin

Gayle King also spoke at the event and provided one of the more amusing lines, “I love that the Lieutenant General gave a shout-out to her husband, Yamiche [Alcindor] gave a shout-out to her husband. I don’t have a husband so I’m going to give a shout-out to you, Fat Joe, because I think you’re terrific.”

Gayle King

Fat Joe (who has slimmed down considerably since his days with the Terror Squad 20 years ago) was indeed one of the many celebrity guests at this year’s brunch. Also attending the indoor-outdoor event were Dr. Anthony Fauci, actress Sophia Bush, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (who was seen chatting with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, CNN’s Don Lemon, and new MSNBC host Symone Sanders at different points during the party), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Elsewhere, CNN Chief White House correspondent Kaitlyn Collins, Brian Stelter, Jamie Stelter, Greta Van Susteren, actress Diane Lane, Lynda Carter, MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, Jacob Soboroff, Katy Tur and her spouse CBS Mornings co-host Tony Dokoupil, CBS’ Robert Costa, ABC’s Juju Chang and her husband former NBC boss Neal Shapiro, CNN’s Kasie Hunt, NBCUniversal News Group boss Cesar Conde, and NBCU CEO Jeff Shell were also present, as was new CNN CEO Chris Licht, CNN D.C. bureau chief Sam Feist, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim, MSNBC president Rashida Jones. Fox News political analyst Juan Williams also attended the party, and was seen chatting with Licht, Conde, Shell, King, Ruhle, and many other personalities and executives at different points during the gathering.

The first Garden Brunch took place in Tammy Haddad’s backyard 29 years ago, ahead of the 1993 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.