While posing for a photo-op with senior military leaders and their spouses on Thursday night, President Donald Trump made an ominous prediction that the gathering could be the “calm before the storm.”
“You guys know what this represents?” Trump asked reporters and his contingent of military couples as they stood for the cameras. “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be the calm, the calm before the storm.”
“What storm, Mr. President?” one reporter shouted.
“You’ll find out,” Trump responded.
JUST IN: "Maybe it's the calm before the storm," Pres. Trump says alongside US military leaders. "You'll find out." https://t.co/NMljtvsnJF— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) October 5, 2017
What exactly Trump meant by his cryptic message is anyone’s guess.
Twitter took a stab at some of the possibilities:
Perhaps he meant the calm before the “tweet storm”— Julie Sullivan (@Sullivanandkids) October 6, 2017
I can only hope the "storm" 45 is anticipating is the pee pee tape release instead of nuclear war. 😱— Dr. Frog (@PhD_Frog) October 6, 2017
The "calm before the storm" Trump referred to is that he is ditching the Iran deal--and making the world an even more dangerous place.— Matt Ortega (@MattOrtega) October 6, 2017
Prediction: Trump's "calm before the storm" comment is that he plans to fire Mueller. (I know he can be re-hired by., etc. JUST PREDICTING)— JEN KIRKMAN (@JenKirkman) October 6, 2017
Options:— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 5, 2017
1) upcoming tweetstorm defending Harvey Weinstein
2) Doritos evacuation
4) throwing Paper Towels at commanders https://t.co/fDoUaotxNs
The White House did not immediately respond to a Reuters request to clarify Trump’s remarks.
Earlier that day President Trump met with top defense officials to discuss the threat from North Korea and preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“In North Korea, our goal is denuclearization,” he said. “We cannot allow this dictatorship to threaten our nation or our allies with unimaginable loss of life. We will do what we must do to prevent that from happening. And it will be done, if necessary, believe me.”
Trump hinted at what might be “necessary” during his inaugural address before the United Nations General Assembly last month, in which he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea in defense of the U.S. or its allies.
Tensions are also high between the U.S. and North Korea. On Thursday Trump also said he intends to drop out of the Iran nuclear deal because he said Iran has not lived up to its side of the bargain.
Trump told his military leaders to bring him “military options” to deal with these issues.
“Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options, when needed, at a much faster pace. I know that government bureaucracy is slow, but I am depending on you to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy,” he said on Thursday during their cabinet room meeting.
Reuters contributed to this report.