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Trump schedules 'big' Pennsylvania rally on same night as White House reporter gala

President Donald Trump speaks during a signing ceremony with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the Treasury Department in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017.
Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters
President Donald Trump speaks during a signing ceremony with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the Treasury Department in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017.

President Donald Trump announced his intention to hold a "big rally" in Pennsylvania next Saturday, a date which marks his 100th day in office, and coincides with the White House Correspondent's Dinner—an event he previously declined to attend.

A day earlier, Trump dismissed the 100-day benchmark normally used to measure presidential success. Nevertheless, Trump posted on Twitter that he would hold a rally in the Keystone State, a swing region that was crucial to his electoral upset in November, on the day that marks his first 3-1/2 months in office.

It wasn't immediately clear what purpose the White House had in mind for scheduling the Pennsylvania rally. However, the event will take place in the wake of what Trump said would be a "big" announcement on tax reform, and could be an effort to marshal public support for the plan. Trump has staked much of his political support on delivering changes to the tax code, an initiative that has prompted investors to send markets surging to new records.

Interestingly, however, the rally will be held on the same night as the White House Correspondent's Dinner, and threatens to overshadow the gala known derisively as "Nerd Prom." Amid a spat with the press in February, Trump declared he wouldn't attend, departing with a long-held tradition where sitting presidents rub shoulders with the very reporters who cover the White House and Congress.

In recent years, the event itself has come under sharp criticism for being self-indulgent and rife with contradiction.