(CNN) The iceberg wedge salads, dripping with blue cheese dressing, had just been served on the terrace of Mar-a-Lago Saturday when the call to President Donald Trump came in: North Korea had launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile, its first challenge to international rules since Trump was sworn in three weeks ago.
The launch, which wasn’t expected, presented Trump with one of the first breaking national security incidents of his presidency. It also noisily disrupted what was meant to be an easygoing weekend of high-level male bonding with the more sobering aspects of global diplomacy.
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.
So Trump and his merry men are dealing with National Security issues in the middle of his club. Do they sweep Mar-A-Lago for bugs? Do the staff and paying guests have security clearances? Oh, what difference does it make at this point, any information Putin wants he probably just has to wave the pee pee tape and Trump will tell.
Is this illegal to be dealing with matters of national security in front of anybody who is willing to pay $200,000 dollars for a membership at Trump’s Neverland?
Apparently, being a member of Mar-A-Lago doesn’t just give you the National Security floorshow but photo-ops with the guy carrying the football (aka, the briefcase full of nuclear launch codes):
Then there’s the NY times article titled Turmoil at the National Security Council, From the Top Down
WASHINGTON — These are chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council, the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world.
Three weeks into the Trump administration, council staff members get up in the morning, read President Trump’s Twitter posts and struggle to make policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Mr. Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls. Some staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues, after hearing that Mr. Trump’s top advisers are considering an “insider threat” program that could result in monitoring cellphones and emails for leaks.
The national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, has hunkered down since investigators began looking into what, exactly, he told the Russian ambassador to the United States about the lifting of sanctions imposed in the last days of the Obama administration, and whether he misled Vice President Mike Pence about those conversations. His survival in the job may hang in the balance.
But it’s a good thing we didn’t elect Hillary because her emails something something.