“Perhaps health care will come up. Perhaps,” Trump said at the annual Governors’ Dinner.
The dinner was first lady Melania Trump’s first time officially hosting a major social event at the White House, which Trump noted in his toast.
Governors from around the country gathered in the White House for the dinner, packing the room alongside administration figures and their families. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus could be seen seated alongside fellow Wisconsinite Gov. Scott Walker.
Trump entered the room with his wife after Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence.
He boasted of his accomplishments in the few weeks since taking office and said, “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Pointing to the meetings with governors slated for the next day, Trump said Obamacare has “tremendous problems” and needed to be repealed and replaced, which he said would be one topic among others at the “pretty big sessions” they would have.
“I think you’re going to see something very special,” Trump said.
He invited governors to hit the ground running ahead of the meetings and said they could speak with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price at the event.
The President concluded his toast by inviting Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and the chairman of the National Governors Association, to give a toast. He described McAuliffe as a friend and a very good guy, but also said, “I just destroyed his political career.”
McAuliffe told the crowd he expected they would have the “greatest NGA meeting in the history of NGA meetings” and offered a toast to the President.
First major social event of Trump White House
The President, who doesn’t drink, toasted with water. Governors were spotted snapping photos on their cell phones as he gave remarks.
The first lady had made sure to note that Sunday evening’s dinner in the State Dining room was a time to put politics aside.
“I am proud to invite all the governors to the White House for this important annual event,” Melania Trump, who wore a dark sleeveless gown, said in a statement earlier Sunday. “Tonight, we come together as one Nation, leaving political labels and partisan interests behind.”
The black-tie dinner is the first major social event of the Trump administration, planned by the East Wing under first lady Melania Trump and a cadre of aides and advisers, including acting senior adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
One of the first lady’s longtime friends and confidants, Winston Wolkoff was previously the events director at Vogue magazine, orchestrating high-wattage events like the Met Gala.
The evening’s theme, per the White House, was “Spring’s Renewal,” drawing upon nature and florals for inspiration. Tables covered in white tablecloths were adorned with white and green floral arrangements, tall white candlesticks, and White House china (it was not immediately clear which administration’s table setting was used Sunday evening).
“The White House has come to life, gleaming with a dazzling, sensorial experience of eternal spring,” the White House said in the statement.
“The scents of jasmine and roses fill the air as we give thanks for this great Nation and the glory of renewal,” the first lady said.
Ivanka Trump, who spent the earlier part of her Sunday at a monster truck rally in Baltimore, made the quick change into a strapless black gown, posing for a photo with Jared Kushner outside their home in DC’s Kalorama neighborhood.
“From the monster truck show to the Governor’s Ball…” she tweeted before the evening began.
For his part, tuxedo-clad President Trump seemed to enjoy his surroundings.
“I want to just congratulate the first lady on having done a really beautiful job. The room, they say, has never looked better, but who knows?” he said.