US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will not attend the annual Kennedy Centre Honours in December, the White House has announced.

“The President and First Lady have decided not to participate in this year’s activities to allow the honourees to celebrate without any political distraction,” a statement from the White House said on Saturday.

Every year, the Kennedy Centre honours individuals for their influence in the arts. This year, honourees include dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallad, singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, hip-hop artist and actor LL Cool J, television writer and producer Norman Lear and musician and record producer Lionel Richie, reports CNN.

“First Lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments,” the White House statement added.

A Kennedy Centre official said this will be the fourth instance of a President not attending the event.

President Jimmy Carter skipped it in 1979, President George HW Bush in 1989 and President Bill Clinton in 1994.

First Published | 20 August 2017 11:13 AM
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