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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

58 mins ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

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