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"Is anyone going to come through here?"

That's what a Hilton hotel employee asked one of a dozen photographers along the red carpet at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner a couple of hours before the event officially started Saturday evening. But, like a blood-thirsty mosquito on a sweltering night, it was the nagging, persistent thought that seemed to plague attendees throughout the event.

The reason: the vacuum left by the absence of President Donald Trump who had decided to spend his 100th day in office rallying with supporters in Pennsylvania.

Updated 10:30 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump passed Saturday on one of the biggest events on Washington's annual social calendar and, instead, opted to spend his 100th day in office focused on trade and holding a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pa.

A U.S. service member died Saturday from wounds sustained in an explosion outside Mosul, Iraq, according to a statement from the U.S military.

The statement offered no further details.

Iraqi troops — with the aid of U.S. forces — have been fighting to push the Islamic State out of Mosul for the past six months.

It is the second American military fatality since the Mosul operation began, reports The Military Times.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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