Speed Reads

fighting words?

After North Korean missile launch, Trump blasts Chuck and Nancy

After North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday, President Trump responded with a volley of attacks ... on Democrats.

Flanked at a White House press conference by two empty seats with name tags for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Trump first cryptically said he would "take care of" the test, then blasted the Democratic leaders for not coming to a White House meeting on a government shutdown in light of the launch. "They should be calling immediately and saying we want to see you, but probably they won't because nothing to them is more important than raising taxes," Trump said. Schumer and Pelosi had canceled plans to attend the meeting after the president attacked them in a tweet earlier Tuesday morning, saying "'Chuck and Nancy' ... want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!"

During the press conference, Secretary of Defense James Mattis also told reporters that the launch was North Korea's highest yet. "The bottom line," he said, "is it is a continued effort to build a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly the United States."

Then President Trump expressed his hope that North Korea's action would prompt Democrat leadership to put the military first in budget discussions, despite the fact that both Schumer and Pelosi voted in favor of a bill authorizing approximately $700 billion in military spending next year.

Shortly after Trump's press conference, frequently undercut Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement saying that "diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now." Nuclear experts have claimed that Tuesday's launch showed that North Korea has developed missile that could hit any part of the continental United States, which the president previously tweeted, "won't happen!"