Trump exchanges 'pleasantries' but doesn't meet with Kelli Ward at Mar-a-Lago

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE “exchanged pleasantries” with GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday, according to a White House spokesperson.

The spokesperson did not elaborate on the details of the exchange. 

Ward tweeted earlier Friday that she was happy to see Trump arrive at Mar-a-Lago for the holidays, saying he needs some “celebratory time” with family and friends.

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ABC News’s Tara Palmeri tweeted Friday that Trump fielded a meeting with the insurgent GOP candidate, though a White House spokesperson said later it was simply an exchange of pleasantries.

Ward, who launched a bid to challenge Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (R-Ariz.) earlier this year, is backed by Trump’s former White House chief strategist, Stephen Bannon.

Bannon is recruiting and supporting candidates to challenge sitting Republican lawmakers he considers too cozy with the party’s establishment wing.

Flake, a vocal critic of Trump, announced in October that he would not run for reelection, citing disparities between his own brand of conservatism and that of Trump and Bannon.

— Updated on Dec. 23 at 10:35 a.m.

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