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The Cross Hall decorated with "The Nutcracker Suite" theme at the White House. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

This year's annual White House Christmas party for members of the media is breaking tradition in several areas, including the time of day and who was invited, according to a Politico report. And unlike past presidents, Trump will not be posing with guests, and "may or may not mingle with the crowd."

The backdrop: The event is "an opportunity for the media and their guests to enjoy a reception at the White House," according to First Lady Melania Trump's director of communications, Stephanie Grisham. This year, it will have a far less festive air. CNN has said it will boycott the event due to President Trump's attacks — and in response Sarah Sanders tweeted, "finally, good news from CNN."

How Trump's party differs from previous years:

  • The party is on a Friday afternoon, whereas in previous years it has been in the evening, allowing guests to bring a significant other or a family member. Grisham said the time was "based on many schedules."
  • Only specific journalists were invited, as opposed to allowing invited outlets a certain number of slots they could fill. Various White House reporters were not invited this year, while they had been in years past.
  • There will only be one party this year, compared to Obama's two holiday parties every year.

Go deeper

1 min ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu has strongly objected to the investigation. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who initially requested it.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
40 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Exxon says it's well-positioned amid investor pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

ExxonMobil said Wednesday that its oil-and-gas development plans will create good returns even at modest oil prices as the company looks to win back investor confidence after several rocky years.

Driving the news: The company, just ahead of an investor presentation this morning, said its investments are designed to generate returns of over 30% and touted its spending reductions.

56 mins ago - Technology

Google says goodbye to individual user tracking

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Google made clear Wednesday that after it finished phasing out third-party cookies over the next year or so, it won't introduce other forms of identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web.

Why it matters: The move comes amid increased scrutiny over the way tech giants use consumer data to reinforce their dominance, particularly around personalized advertising.

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