News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Trump’s Staff Won’t Get to Party With Journalists

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

White House staffers have to cancel their limos and party bus reservations—they won’t be going to prom this year. Nerd prom, that is: President Trump won’t allow members of his administration to attend this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. I spoke to several White House reporters weeks ago, and while many were split on whether Trump himself would be a welcome presence, nearly all found benefit in having his staff join in, mostly for networking (but, I suspect, also a little fun too). Still, I don’t suspect the lack of Trump-world people to change the mood so much: Out-of-town guests will probably be dazzled by seeing cable news anchors eat room temperature fish. I personally think that this might make the program (which, like the Oscars, is always an hour too long) a bit shorter. Less mingling. What are Trump and the “best people” doing instead? Throwing a rally, of course.

And maybe that rally will get him more Twitter followers? His 59.9M following isn’t up to his standards, at least, that’s what he reportedly told site CEO Jack Dorsey in a closed-door meeting yesterday. Look, while I vibe generally with the energy of complaining to a very high-ranking figure about something petty, I’m not so sure Dorsey is the salve to calm Trump’s growing list of online grievances.

Good Wednesday morning, I am your author with a decent Twitter following, Brittany Shepherd ( Will Peischel ( contributed reporting today. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to this newsletter.

Now, to locals toying with 2020 runs…establishment Republican and governor of Maryland Larry Hogan is seriously thinking about running for president, the Washington Post reports. Hogan criticized other Republicans for their silence following the release of the Mueller report. Speaking of Mueller: The special counsel is now monopolizing the top 3 spots on Amazon’s bestsellers list.

Audible’s audiobook of the report came together quickly—over one weekend, to be precise. We spoke to the narrators and found out how they recorded 19 hours and three minutes of audio with no prep work and little notice.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • The Greek Deli will reopen today after a health inspection closed the downtown institution over a misunderstanding about the location of a bathroom. 
  • Federalist Pig will roll out bigger, better smokers in its new Hyattsville location.
  • A new Burmese joint in Georgetown might be able to make fast-casual salads…fun? The impossible dream.
  • This body image coach eats chocolate for a snack, which means I can have a Kit Kat for lunch, right?

Our pick for things to do around town:

THEATER The Who’s Tommy is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and the Kennedy Center is presenting a semi-staged version of the rock musical as part of its “Broadway Center Stage” series. This show about a deaf and blind kid who excels at pinball will star Casey Cott (Riverdale) with Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher) and Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton, In the Heights). Recommended for ages 14+. Through April 29. $69-$219.

Good reads:

  • Andrew Yang loves British alt-rock and new wave, which just might make him the presidential candidate with the coolest music taste. (Jezebel)
  • Taffy Brodesser-Akner‏’s story about the culture of harassment at Sterling Jewelers is really an examination of the workplace garbage women must put up with in every industry. As she writes, accurately: “There is a precise algorithm that lives in the heart of every woman, one that alerts her when the injustice she is experiencing outweighs the joy.” (New York Times)

Big events from Washingtonian:

Sip sip rosé! Join us as we toast to spring at our Rosé Soirée on Thursday, May 16, at Long View Gallery! It will be an evening full of wine from local and national vendors, light bites, and music. Use code sipsiprose for 15 percent off your ticket at

An evening under the sea: We’re celebrating the best restaurants in the Washington area at Best of Washington, presented by Lexus, on Thursday, June 6, at the National Building Museum. Tickets are selling fast to the kick-off party of the summer, so get yours today at Want 20 percent off your tickets? Use code bestofbrittany.

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.