“This evening President Trump had another meeting, including dinner, concerning the Department of Veterans Affairs and how to turn it around for the benefit of our great veterans,” the White House said in a summary of Trump’s day. “Great progress is being made and will be reported on in the future.”
Trump had said Friday that the meeting was scheduled for that evening at his “Southern White House.” A White House spokeswoman later told The Palm Beach Post that the meeting would not happen at that time.
Though the statement sent Saturday night by the White House did not mention with whom Trump met, pool reports earlier in the day showed the president met with Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter before the pair had dinner with first lady Melania Trump and Perlmutter’s wife, Laura. They also were joined by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Later, Vice President Mike Pence joined the group for dessert after he spoke at a meeting of the Club for Growth at The Breakers in Palm Beach.
UPDATE: A White House spokeswoman told The Palm Beach Post that the meeting will not happen tonight.
The president, speaking at a Veterans Affairs listening session at the White House earlier today with VA Secretary David Shulkin, said the “major meeting” would bring together “some of the people that we put on a board” to address health care issues in the department at his “Southern White House.” It will kick off Trump’s fifth weekend stay in Palm Beach since he took office in January.
Among the members of that group: Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, a fellow part-time Palm Beacher who supported Trump’s presidential campaign. Perlmutter met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in December as Trump was planning his transition into the White House.
Trump mentioned the meeting during his opening remarks at the listening session.
“And tonight I’m having a major meeting with some of the people that we put on a board,” Trump said to those seated at a table in the White House’s Roosevelt Room. “Ike Perlmutter is an amazing man —Marvel — is one of the great, great businessmen of our time, and others — we’re having a meeting tonight at what we call affectionately the Southern White House. Seems to be the most convenient location. Everybody always wants to go to the Southern White House.”
Trump then turned to Shulkin.
“So are you going to be at that meeting?” Trump asked. Shulkin shook his, no. “You heard about it, right? It’s going to be great — all about the VA.”
The White House has not yet released Trump’s schedule for this weekend, and the meeting at Mar-a-Lago this evening did not appear on the president’s Friday schedule that was sent to the press Thursday night. The Palm Beach Post has reached out to the White House for more information.
Also at Mar-a-Lago tonight: Gateway for Cancer Research is hosting its St. Patrick’s Day party, beginning at 7 p.m. Receiving the Palm Beach Legend Award at the event is Patrick Park, who has said he’s Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Austria.