"The White House Christmas press party was not put on the holiday schedule this year," a White House official confirmed to PEOPLE

By Emily Zauzmer
December 13, 2018 12:44 PM
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95th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty

President Donald Trump is canceling the White House‘s 2018 holiday party for members of the press, Fox News first reported.

“The White House Christmas press party was not put on the holiday schedule this year,” a White House official confirmed to PEOPLE.

“However, we have accommodated members of the media and their families who have asked to see the holiday decorations by arranging White House Open House Tours for them,” the official said.

Trump has repeatedly referred to the news media as “the enemy of the people.”

“It’s my only form of fighting back,” Trump said in the HBO docuseries AXIOS of his penchant for criticizing the press.

The White House held a holiday party for the press in 2017, but Trump did not take pictures with guests, according to The Washington Post. As president, Trump has skipped the Kennedy Center Honors and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, two other yearly events that a commander in chief usually attends.

In November 2017, CNN announced that it would not send its journalists to that year’s holiday party, The Washington Postreported at the time.

On Twitter that month, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed delight at CNN’s decision. “Christmas comes early! Finally, good news from @CNN,” she wrote.

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The holidays are off to a rocky start for the Trumps. In November, online commentators criticized First Lady Melania Trump‘s White House Christmas decor, which includes intensely red trees and a “Be Best” ornament.

“We are in 21st century and everybody has a different taste,” she said. “I think they look fantastic. I hope everybody will come over and visit it. In real life, they look even more beautiful. You are all welcome to visit the White House, the people’s house.”

Eric Trump was also the subject of the Internet’s ire when he marketed Trump-themed Christmas ornaments on Twitter.