Trump: Mar-a-Lago ‘most convenient’ place to hold VA meeting
Trump: "Major meeting" tonight at Mar-a-Lago to "talk all about the VA"
*turns to VA Sec.*
Will you be there?
*awkwardly shakes head no* pic.twitter.com/Up2tPEIxbO
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) March 17, 2017
President Trump boasted Friday that his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., was the “most convenient” place to hold a meeting “all about” the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Tonight I’m having a major meeting with some of the people I put on a board,” Trump said during a joint press conference with VA Secretary David Shulkin.
Trump mentioned Ike Perlmutter, the Marvel CEO, indicating he would be among those in attendance at “what we call the ‘Southern White House.’ That seems to be the most convenient location. Everybody always wants to go to the Southern White House.”
Asked by Trump if he would be in attendance at the meeting, Shulkin responded by shaking his head, indicating he would not be.
A White House official later told the Palm Beach Post that the meeting would not happen Friday night. It’s unclear why, and the event never appeared on Trump’s official schedule for the day. His weekend schedule has not yet been released.
Trump has visited Mar-a-Lago for five weekends so far and has spent nearly a quarter of his time there since taking office.
His first weekend trip alone cost taxpayers an estimated roughly $3 million. A subsequent report by The Washington Post estimated Trump’s trips as of Feb. 21 added up to a taxpayer cost of $10 million.
Last Thursday, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced legislation that would prevent the use of taxpayer funds to pay for any expenses at places owned by President Trump and his family.
The bill, named the No Taxpayer Revenue Used to Monetize the Presidency (No TRUMP) Act, is unlikely to come to anything while the GOP controls the House.
Trump’s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago have also raised concerns about security and access to the president.
Resort guests have frequently posted about the president’s visits on social media, and Trump received criticism in February after one guest posted a photo of the aide responsible for carrying nuclear launch codes to Facebook.
Updated at 8:20 p.m.
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