President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed a strategy to respond to North Korea's recent missile test in “full view” of members of the president’s Mar-a-Lago club on Saturday evening, according to CNN.
North Korea’s launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile was the country’s first since Trump became president. CNN reported that the missile flew 310 miles off North Korea's eastern coast prior to landing in the Sea of Japan.
News of the launch broke while Trump hosted Abe at Mar-a-Lago.
According to the report, Trump and Abe discussed a response to the test in the dining room at the club:
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.
As aides made phone calls to officials in Washington and Tokyo, others brought documents to Trump and Abe, illuminating the documents with the camera lights on their phones, potentially creating a security risk.
According to the report, while the two leaders crafted a response to the attack dinner continued as usual in the club’s dining room:
Even as a flurry of advisers and translators descended upon the table carrying papers and phones for their bosses to consult, dinner itself proceeded apace. Waiters cleared the wedge salads and brought along the main course as Trump and Abe continued consulting with aides.
CNN also reported that the "open-air nature" of Trump's discussion was met with criticism by some who felt that the public nature of the conversation — as well as the use of cell phone cameras around potentially sensitive documents — could present a national security risk.
As the New York Times notes, "Mar-a-Lago is hardly a secure situation room."
According to Roll Call, Richard DeAgazio, a member of the club, posted photos purportedly showing the incident. His account was later either deleted or set to private.
DeAgazio also posted a picture of himself with a man who he said is responsible for carrying the president’s nuclear launch codes.
The Hill reports that while the existence of the nuclear football isn't classified, the pictures "raise questions" about the access Mar-a-Lago members have to the president and to potentially sensitive information.
After the dinner, Trump and Abe held a press conference. Abe called the launch "absolutely intolerable.” Trump did not specifically address the launch, but said that “the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2017