When President Trump learned that North Korea had fired a midrange ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Sunday morning, Saturday night's dinner was being served on the terrace at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida. This is how he dealt with the first national security emergency of his administration, according to CNN:
Sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he'd spent most of the day golfing, Trump took the call on a mobile phone at his table, which was set squarely in the middle of the private club's dining area. As Mar-a-Lago's wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background, Trump and Abe's evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN.
Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon left their seats to huddle closer to Trump as documents were produced and phone calls were placed to officials in Washington and Tokyo. The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents.... Waiters cleared the wedge salads and brought along the main course as Trump and Abe continued consulting with aides. [CNN]
When the candle-lit national security meeting eventually adjourned, Trump and Abe gave brief statements in front of a black curtain. Abe called the missile launch "absolutely intolerable" and demanded Pyongyang adhere to United Nations Security Council resolutions, while Trump ignored a joint communiqué seen sitting on his lectern and did not mention the missile test at all, instead assuring Japan and the world that the U.S. "stands behind Japan" 100 percent. Leaving the stage, Trump dropped in at a wedding reception at the Mar-a-Lago ballroom, CNN reports, and picked up a mic to address the guests. "I saw them out on the lawn today," Trump said of nearby newlyweds. "I said to the prime minister of Japan, I said, 'C'mon Shinzo, let's go over and say hello.'... They've been members of this club for a long time," he added, referring to the bride and groom. "They've paid me a fortune." Read more at CNN. Peter Weber