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An "informal council" of three confidants of President Donald Trump who have neither served in the U.S. military nor hold government positions have exerted "sweeping influence" on policies concerning America's military veterans, ProPublica reported on Tuesday.
The three are Marvel Entertainment Chairman and CEO Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, a Palm Beach doctor named Bruce Moskowitz and lawyer Marc Sherman, according to ProPublica. The report said it was based on "hundreds of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former administration officials."
All three men are members of Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private club in Palm Beach, Fla., according to the report. The trio spoke with officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs daily and reviewed "all manner of policy and personnel decisions," ProPublica said.
Perlmutter also talks to Trump regularly on the phone and is the first person the president calls on issues concerning veterans, the news outlet reported.
The White House, the VA, Marvel Entertainment and Sherman didn't immediately reply to CNBC's emails seeking comment. CNBC couldn't reach Moskowitz for comment through a publicly listed phone number.
Perlmutter, Moskowitz and Sherman told ProPublica — through a crisis-communication consultant — that they offered help and advice on a voluntary basis. They insisted they have no authority over the department's decisions, the report said.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told ProPublica the three "have no direct influence over the Department of Veterans Affairs," while VA spokesman Curt Cashour said "a broad range of input from individuals both inside and outside VA has helped us immensely over the last year and a half."