The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner weekend might not be the celebrity-themed event that it once was, but there were far more than a few members of the Washington media elite in attendance at the 26th Annual White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch, which took place earlier today in Washington DC at the Georgetown home of Mark & Sally Ein.
Three of the most high-profile attendees of the event, which is meant to celebrate the First Amendment, have a connection to the sitting administration.
We noticed President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani there. He spent nearly an hour and a half at the party.
Counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway was at the brunch as well. Her appearance came across as a bit of a surprise considering President Trump recently directed administration officials not to attend the Dinner. Perhaps the events surrounding the dinner weren’t part of that directive.
It will be interesting to see if Conway shows up at any of the other parties this weekend, but we do know that she’s set to appear on State of the Union with Jake Tapper tomorrow morning.
Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein came by as well. He was seen speaking with the aforementioned Tapper, Jay Leno and plenty of other partygoers.
Rosenstein was there with his daughter and wife for nearly the entire time, and out of all the attendees, it was he who seemed to get the most attention. (My guess is the recent release of the Mueller report had something to do with that).
We also noticed senior advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett in the house.
Tammy Haddad once again co-hosted the event at the corner of R and 30th Street, with Greta Van Susteren and John Coale, Hilary Rosen, Jean & Steve Case, the Eins, Jennifer Dunn, Zac Moffatt, Franco Nuschese, and Fritz Brogan serving as co-hosts.
Tapper and Don Lemon took the stage to introduce this year’s military honorees.
“If you’re not here to celebrate America and the Constitution, then you don’t need to be in these rooms,” Lemon remarked, a pointed criticism of the sitting administration and at least one of the party’s attendees.
Below, Tapper introduces one of the honorees.
Leno was part of a presentation to Purple Heart recipient, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Angela Morales-Biggs.
Leno presented Sgt. Morales-Biggs with keys to a new Nissan Pathfinder as part of the presentation — a gift that was sponsored by Wells Fargo and Jones Junction auto group.
She asked Leno if he was joking, and he responded that he was not.
Leno’s birthday is tomorrow, and Van Susteren was among those on stage to present him with a birthday cake.
Prior to that presentation, there was also a moment to honor the service of U.S. Army Lt. General Gwen Bingham with the Be Fearless Award.
CNN had a strong turnout at this year’s brunch. In addition to Tapper, and Lemon, there was CNN anchor Kate Bolduan, Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, and Washington bureau chief Sam Feist, to name a few.
MSNBC’s duo of Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle were present, as was Jacob Soboroff. We noticed Tapper and Ruhle chatting at one point.
Fox News Radio White House correspondent Jon Decker attended the brunch as well.
Decker recently made waves for calling out two of his colleagues for sounding “like a White Supremacist chat room” when they attempted to defend President Trump’s infamous “both sides” comment about white supremacists in Charlottesville, according to internal emails that were leaked by a number of media outlets.
We noticed PBS Washington Week host and Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa, Comedy Central’s Jordan Klepper (whose new show premieres May 9), House of Cards star Michael Kelly (aka. Doug Stampfer) and many more.
The annual Creative Artists Agency (CAA) party took place the previous evening at the rooftop of the Eaton Hotel in downtown Washington.
The party was well-attended, with guests including former national security advisor and ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, as well as NBC News chief foreign affairs Correspondent / MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell.
There were a number of CNN and MSNBC correspondents in the house. We spotted CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, CNN political correspondent Sara Murray, CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly, and had a nice chat with MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, who has been racking up the awards as of late.
CBS News had a noticeable contingent at the party. There was Face the Nation executive producer Mary Hager, the new CBS This Morning executive producer Diana Miller, as well as her predecessor Ryan Kadro were seen chatting. CBS News correspondent/CBSN anchor Vlad Duthiers, CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave, CBS News svp of talent strategy Laurie Orlando attended as well.
There was ABC News public relations chief Julie Townsend representing her network at the party, and Fox News svp of event marketing and host of on-air entertainment programming Michael Tammero was there as well.