Trump is Boycotting the Kennedy Center Honors Because He Would Be a 'Political Distraction'

You know when you were younger, and there was a kid in your elementary school class that nobody liked, but your mom said you had to invite him to your birthday party anyway because it was the right thing to do? 

Well, that kid might have just caught on.

Related: Donald Trump Suddenly Cancels Surprise Rally in Iowa

RTX3D1P0 U.S. President Donald Trump departs after his remarks to the American Legion Boys Nation and Auxiliary Girls Nation in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 26, 2017. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced Saturday morning that they would not be attending the Kennedy Center Honors celebrations scheduled for this December. The ceremonial weekend, due to include a State Department dinner and gala, honors performing arts figures that have changed American culture. Typically, the people being honored sit next to the president and first lady, according to Rolling Stone.

Not this year.

"The President and First Lady have decided not to participate in this year's activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a news release. "First Lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald J. Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year's award recipients for their many accomplishments."

Honestly, though, we should have seen this coming.

Trump seems to be adopting an "it's my party, and I'll cry if I want to" stance for the Kennedy Center Honors, which is not new. He made a similar decision back in February in advance of the White House Correspondents Dinner, when Sanders told reporters he would "spend the night focused on what he can do to help better America" rather than pretend there wasn't tension between him and the media, the Washington Post reported.

The Kennedy Center Honors is no different. Hollywood does not love Trump. His rival Hillary Clinton won roughly 62 percent of the vote in California in the November election, and since then stars like Meryl Streep and Rihanna have attacked the president in speeches and attended protests against him.

Even going into December's Kennedy Center awards, Trump was seeing resistance. Norman Lear, Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, L.L. Cool J and Lionel Richie are set to be honored, and at least two of them—Lear and de Lavallade—announced this month that they're boycotting, according to Vanity Fair.

That probably didn't sit well with Trump, who is obsessed with being popular. During last year's campaign he regularly referenced his poll numbers at rallies and on Twitter, and now that he's president he can't stop talking about his approval ratings. (Which are not good. Gallup data shows that 38 percent of people think Trump is doing a good job. Fifty-seven percent say the opposite.)

So it's no wonder he's skipping the Kennedy Center Honors. Why hang out in a room full of your critics when you could be on the golf course instead?