13abc's Diane Larson at White House dinner with the president
It was a last minute invitation and according to White House press secretary Sean Sicer, it had never been done before.
Monday evening, the president hosted a dinner in the state dining room for journalists from local television stations, including 13abc's Diane Larson.
A total of 18 reporters represented six station groups. Diane and 13abc's Washington Bureau Chief Jacqueline Policastro represented Gray TV along with an anchor from the company's station in Lexington, KY.
The dinner was held in the state dining room. Vice President Mike Pence came in first and welcomed the reporters followed by President Trump who greeted each reporter and thanked the for coming.
Also at the table were key White House staffers: Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Counselor Kellyanne Conway and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
The president's staff emphasized this was an off-the-record dinner, but the president did make a few on the record remarks as he talked about a wide range of topics ahead of his Tuesday night speech in front of the Joint Session of Congress.
Larson asked the president about an AARP commercial airing on 13abc lately. It's aimed at pressuring Republicans to protect Medicare and Social Security. The commercial uses a portion of a campaign speech where the president says, "I'm going to protect and save your Social Security and Medicare. You made a deal a long time ago."
Larson asked President Trump if he intends to keep his promise. He said he will not touch them despite the desire of many Republicans to overhaul entitlements.
This kind of dinner is reportedly reserved for network and cable news anchors ahead of big speeches like Tuesday's or a State of the Union address.
The president is hosting network news anchors for lunch on Tuesday.