WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump planned to have dinner Saturday with the parents of a University of Virginia student who died in 2017 shortly after being freed from captivity in North Korea.

An administration official said Trump was to host the parents of Otto Warmbier, who was convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster while in the North Korean capital and spent 17 months in prison.

He died at age 22 days after being returned to the U.S. in a vegetative state.

Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, was expected to join the dinner. Officials say he is among 15 candidates Trump is considering to replace ousted national security adviser John Bolton.

By mid-evening Saturday, the White House had not confirmed that the dinner had taken place.

Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier of suburban Cincinnati, say their son was tortured in prison.

They were angered by Trump’s comments this spring that he took North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “at his word” that he was unaware of any mistreatment.

Trump later tweeted, “Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto’s mistreatment and death.” The tweet made no mention of Kim, with whom Trump is pursuing nuclear talks.

Doctors in Cincinnati said Warmbier had suffered severe brain damage, although they were not sure what led to it. North Korea denied mistreating him, saying he fell into a coma that resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.

A law firm representing the Warmbier family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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