The Trump White House sent out invitations to their annual media Christmas party, but snubbed LGBT and black reporters from the invite list, Pink News reports.
For the first time since the George W. Bush administration, LGBT reporters were not invited to the party. It is also the first time in 20 years that black groups were excluded from the invites, according to the report.
Chris Johnson, the top White House and political reporter at the Washington Blade was among those who was snubbed this year. The Washington Blade is one of the world’s oldest LGBT publications.
Johnson told The Independent he first realized his invite wasn’t coming over Thanksgiving.
“My first reaction was I assumed it must have been an oversight,” Johnson told the paper.
Johnson emailed White House officials and was passed off to a number of spokespeople who could not give him a straight answer.
“It is consistent with the White House press secretary not calling on me during the on-camera press briefings,” he told The Independent, adding that he has been called on at White House press briefings just twice in six months.
Johnson said he believes the lack of an invite is “just kind of consistent with the policy of the administration to exclude LGBTQ people”.
“As with Christmas parties in past administrations, this is off the record,” a spokesperson for Melania said in a statement. “This is not meant to be a news event, rather, it is an opportunity for the media and their guests to enjoy a reception at the White House this Christmas season.”
This is the second time in just the recent days that Trump has overlooked the LGBT community. Earlier this month, he honored Worlds AIDS day without a single mention of the LGBT community.
“Today, on World AIDS Day, we honor those who have lost their lives to AIDS, we celebrate the remarkable progress we have made in combatting this disease, and we reaffirm our ongoing commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat,” Trump said in the statement.
“Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, more than 76 million people around the world have become infected with HIV and 35 million have died from AIDS,” it said. “As of 2014, 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. On this day, we pray for all those living with HIV, and those who have lost loved ones to AIDS.”
By contrast, President Barack Obama made it a point to highlight the LGBT community when discussing HIV and AIDS prevention.
“In the United States, more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV,” Obama said in his 2016 World AIDS Day statement. “Gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs are at a disproportionate risk.”