Who could resist congratulating an old friend?
The president popped into a charity event being held at his Mar-a-Lago Club on Friday night to say hello to Patrick Park, a fellow Palm Beacher who was honored by the Gateway for Cancer Research during the group’s St. Patrick’s Day party.
Park, who received the Palm Beach Legend Award, has said he’s Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Austria.
Trump stopped in for a few minutes, according to sources inside the event, one of whom provided a photo to Palm Beach Daily News reporter Shannon Donnelly of the president at Park’s table. The president stepped away from dinner with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft to congratulate Park, Donnelly said.
The Prez drops in on Gateway Cancer bash at Mar-a-Lago last nite and greets guests at honoree Patrick Park's table pic.twitter.com/L68NyjMet0— Shannon Donnelly (@pbdnsociety) March 18, 2017
This isn’t the first time Trump has spent a few moments at an event at Mar-a-Lago. This weekend marks Trump’s fifth visit to Palm Beach since taking office in January, and charity events have been booked at the club each weekend. On Trump’s first trip after his inauguration, he and first lady Melania Trump attended the Red Cross Ball.
During Trump’s most recent trip, he was photographed speaking with guests at Mar-a-Lago outside the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s March 4 fundraising gala. Photographed earlier in the evening saying hello to Mar-a-Lago visitors: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Photos of Trump with guests at the club have taken on a tinge of controversy, after some posted images to social media showing the president and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe consulting with their staffers before a news conference where each leader addressed a reported North Korean missile launch.
The club has attempted to curb the taking of photos in some areas of the property, posting signs that say photography is not permitted.
Still, guests for charity events and even club members have continued to snap away, sharing photos — whether with or without the president — from around the club’s grounds with members of the media and with posting them to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Some members of Congress have raised concerns about the level of security at Mar-a-Lago. Recently, several Democratic senators sent letters to Trump and the Secret Service asking for information on the level of screening undergone by Mar-a-Lago guests, while also requesting the White House keep track of who visits Trump’s part-time Palm Beach home, and that the club provide a list of its members.