Trump likes showing off his new gig

The Times has more on Trump’s dinner with Abe and a few hundred of his closest friends.

President Trump and his top aides coordinated their response to North Korea’s missile test on Saturday night in full view of diners at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida — a remarkable, public display of presidential activity that is almost always conducted in highly secure settings.

The scene — of aides huddled over their computers and the president on his cellphone at his club’s terrace — was captured by a club member dining not far away and published in pictures on his Facebook account. The images also show Mr. Trump conferring with his guest at the resort, Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister.

Well it could have been worse. They could have gone to Olive Garden or Applebee’s.

The fact that the national security incident was playing out in public view drew swift condemnation from some Democrats, who said it was irresponsible for Mr. Trump not to have moved his discussion to a more private location.

“There’s no excuse for letting an international crisis play out in front of a bunch of country club members like dinner theater,” Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, said in a Twitter message.

Discussions about how to respond to international incidents involving adversaries like North Korea are almost always conducted in places that have high-tech protections against eavesdropping, like the White House Situation Room. When presidents are away from the White House, they often conduct important business in a “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility,” or SCIF, a location that can be made temporarily impervious to eavesdropping.

Mr. Trump and his White House aides who joined him for dinner, including Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, did not relocate the discussion to such a facility.

It’s like this. They were hungry, see? The steak and baked potatoes had just arrived, and they didn’t want to wait to dive in. They’re people too you know.

The president’s dinner with Mr. Abe was also a departure.

Mr. Trump’s predecessors have almost always held such working dinners in private facilities. In 2013, former President Barack Obama held a dinner with China’s President Xi Jinping at the Sunnylands resort in Palm Springs, Calif. But the dinner between the leaders was out of sight of members of the public.

But Mr. Trump appears to enjoy presenting the spectacle of his presidency to those at his privately held club, where members pay $200,000 to join. While the club is not open to the public, Mr. Trump’s dinner with Mr. Abe was in the club’s dining room, where any member or their guests were likely to be.

But they had to pay 20 grand to be there, or at least be the guests of people who paid 20 grand to be there. Obviously those people are not going to be agents of North Korea. That’s biologically impossible, or something.

But seriously – I want to know why Trump is not being boiled in oil over this.

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