NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 13:  Actor Hasan Minhaj attends the PaleyFest New York 2016 "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" at The Paley Center for Media on October 13, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 13: Actor Hasan Minhaj attends the PaleyFest New York on October 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Comedian Hasan Minhaj will be the featured entertainer for the White House correspondents’ dinner later this month, the White House Correspondents’ Association announced Tuesday.

“I am thrilled that Hasan will serve as our featured entertainer at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robu`st and independent media,” White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason said in a statement.

Minhaj has been a senior correspondent for “The Daily Show” since 2014 and has been critical of Trump’s travel ban against several Muslim-majority countries.

Typically, the president attends the dinner, which has been a annual Washington tradition since the 1920s, and delivers a speech. However, Trump announced in February that he would be skipping this year’s celebration and Trump’s staff will also not be in attendance out of “solidarity” with the president.

It has also become custom for the featured comedian to give a roast of the president and Washington.

“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!” said Minhaj. “Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”

Past comedians who have emceed the correspondents’ dinner include Larry Wilmore, Cecily Strong, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel.

SOURCE: VERONICA STRACQUALURSI   
ABC News