While President Donald Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meeting in Mar-a-Lago was interrupted by reports that North Korea had test fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, another situation that required attention was brewing closer to home.
Gaggles of onlookers at Trump’s self-described Winter White House snapped photos of and revealed information aboutthe leaders’ very public strategysession concerning the North’s latest show of force.
After playing golf, Trump and Abe had settled into the estate’s terrace for dinner Saturday night when Trump took the call about North Korea in the middle of the dining area, according to CNN.
Trump is now being criticized for reportedly drafting a response to the news — with his advisers — from the dining area, where guests could overhear what should have been a confidential discussion.
The president’s team also reportedly used cell phone flashlights to read secure documents on North Korea in the dining area, which had dimmed lights throughout.
Diners were also able to take photos — and did. One, Richard DeAgazio, wrote on his now-deleted Facebook page that it was “fascinating to watch the flurry of activity” at the president’s table Saturday night.
That Mar-a-Lago member deleted his FB post with photos of Trump’s team apparently reading North Korea docs by iPhone flashlight. Screenshot: pic.twitter.com/JSBukvlP0Z
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) February 13, 2017
In another post, screenshots of which have been shared thousands of times around Twitter, the Mar-a-Lago member identifies the president’s “nuclear football” carrier:
This is a completely public Facebook post by a member at Mar-a-Lago. Let that sink in, please. pic.twitter.com/H0szAfqBL3
— Nicole (@foosh78) February 13, 2017
“The nuclear football (also known as the atomic football, the President’s emergency satchel, the Presidential Emergency Satchel, the button, the black box or just the football) is a briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the President of the United States to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room. It functions as a mobile hub of the strategic defense system of the United States,” the post says.
In another photo, DeAgazio remarked on the president’s calm demeanor.
“There wasn’t any panicked look,” he wrote. “Most of the people [on the terrace] didn’t even realize what was happening. I thought he handled it very calmly, and very presidentially.”
This is a perfect photo. So of course the original is on the iPhone of a random Mar-a-Lago person with access to the president. pic.twitter.com/bA1miZvyN4
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) February 13, 2017