Over the weekend, while Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe visited with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, news broke that North Korea had conducted a ballistic missile test. The event represented Trump’s first true high-pressure national security situation, especially since North Korea poses a direct threat to Japan.
As reported by CNN, Trump and Abe sat in the main dining area — surrounded by paid club members — and discussed the incident while pouring over confidential documents with members of Trump’s staff, including National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon:
“But as he sat down for the planned working dinner with Abe, whose country is well within range of North Korea’s missiles, it was clear his counterpart felt it necessary to respond to the test. The launch occurred just before 8 a.m. on Sunday morning in Japan.
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”.
And no, that wasn’t a misprint. People used their cell phones as flashlights so they could read the documents out on a patio.
And there is photographic evidence that this occurred, by way of a dinner guest named Rick DeAgazio who posted his photos to his public Facebook page, although the Facebook page is now down.
When asked about what he saw, and why he posted everything to his since-made-private Facebook account, DeAgazio told the Washington Post he was “impressed” by Trump’s decision not to seek out a more private setting for the exchange. “He chooses to be out on the terrace, with the members. It just shows that he’s a man of the people,” said the retired businessman and Mar-a-Lago club member — entry to which costs a minimum of $200,000.
Meanwhile, Chelsea Clinton took notice of the situation on Twitter and asked a valid question:
How many of Mar-a-Lago’s new members will be (already are?) members of foreign intelligence agencies & media organizations? https://t.co/8JqJfoWidP
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 13, 2017
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