Donald Trump to skip attending Kennedy Center Honors

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The annual event celebrates the lifetime achievements of artists who've contributed greatly to American culture. But it might have been more accurate to say the reason was to keep the event from falling apart entirely. The 2017 recipients are American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban American singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, American hip hop artist and entertainment icon LL COOL J, American television writer and producer Norman Lear, and American musician and record producer Lionel Richie. However, nearly all of the five have publicly stated why they feel the need to boycott some or all of the proceedings.

The White House announced early Saturday that President Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, would not participate in this year's Kennedy Center Honors, "to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction".

Presidents and first ladies traditionally attend the Kennedy Center program each year.

"Each of this year's Honorees became known to and loved by the world due to their complete originality and bold genius", said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.

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Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Norman Lear and Lionel Richie were to be recognized December 3 at a gala show at the Kennedy Center, and reception and dinner at the White House.

Other White House councils have also disbanded following Charlottesville, signaling that this president is increasingly alone and isolated, even among the people - business leaders - with whom he claimed to have great working relationships.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will not attend the Kennedy Center Honors. Trump was widely criticized by politicians on both sides of the aisle for his response to the deadly violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally in that city last weekend.

It's unclear whether any of the honorees would have been left if Trump did decide to attend the ceremony, which recognizes careers in the performing arts.

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