Trump Talked About National Security Issues in a Crowded Golf Resort

The president reportedly took phone calls and pored over documents in Mar-a-Lago's dining area while members took photos and waiters delivered the main course.
February 13, 2017, 6:30pm
Photo via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump decided to handle sensitive national security issues right at the dinner table at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida on Saturday, surrounded by paying private members, CNN reports.

Trump and Melania were eating dinner with Japanese prime minster Shinzō Abeand his wife, Akie,  when the president reportedly took a phone call on a mobile device about the North Korea missile test as club-goers looked on—simultaneously displaying terrible restaurant manners and brutally lax national security conduct.

CNN reports that the call, which focused on North Korea's allegedly successful launch of a rocket capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, came in while Trump and Abe were about to start their salad course. The dinner then "quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners," who ended up snapping a few photos of the whole thing.

The idea that the president would discuss sensitive national security matters in a semi-public space is mind-bendingly reckless, and the Washington Post points out that the sloppiness didn't end there. After the call, aides brought documents and phones over to Trump and Abe, as Melania and Akie continued to speak through a translator and waiters delivered the main course. Because the dining area was dimly lit, the aides reportedly "used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents." It's not clear that all the phones were secure, which makes them vulnerable to a potential hack.

Trump has already been sloppy with security practices, but the Mar-a-Lago session is up there as one of the worst. The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the North Korea missile test, and let's hope Trump doesn't accidentally pocket-dial anyone in the midst of it or whatever.