… Swanning through the club’s living room and main dining area alongside Abe, Trump was — as is now typical — swarmed with paying members, who now view dinner at the club as an opportunity for a few seconds of face time with the new President.
But as he sat down for the planned working dinner with Abe, whose country is well within range of North Korea’s missiles, it was clear his counterpart felt it necessary to respond to the test. The launch occurred just before 8 a.m. on Sunday morning in Japan.
Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon left their seats to huddle closer to Trump as documents were produced and phone calls were placed to officials in Washington and Tokyo.
The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents…
Eventually Trump and Abe, along with their collection of aides, stood and moved from the dining terrace and toward a marble-trimmed ballroom, whose gilded columns were concealed by more sober-looking black drapes.
Standing in front of an American and Japanese flag, a stern-faced Abe called the launch “absolutely intolerable,” and insisted North Korea adhere to United Nations Security Council resolutions barring it from testing of ballistic missiles.
Trump, in his short remarks, didn’t mention the launch. He used a short statement to vow support for Japan instead…
He declined to read from a set of prepared remarks, which photographers captured images of, that were resting on his podium. Those remarks did mention the missile test specifically and vowed cooperation between allies to “safeguard and protect” against North Korea’s “provocative acts.”…
Trump left the impromptu briefing room without taking questions, having delivered the first emergency foreign policy statement of his presidency.
But even as he confronted one of the gravest matters of his office, Trump nonetheless found it impossible to resist dropping in on a nearby wedding reception, already underway in his treasured Grand Ballroom. Trump designed and built the space himself after purchasing Mar-a-Lago in the 1980s.
Entering the ornate room, Trump took a photo with the bride and her bridesmaids, who posed in red gowns next to the commander in chief, mimicking his signature thumbs-up.
Then he grabbed a microphone.
“I saw them out on the lawn today,” Trump said of the bride and groom, who were standing nearby. “I said to the Prime Minister of Japan, I said, ‘C’mon Shinzo, let’s go over and say hello.’ ”
“They’ve been members of this club for a long time,” Trump said of the newlyweds. “They’ve paid me a fortune.”
The Japanese government must be nostalgic about the good old days, when the worst diplomatic faux pas was Bush Sr. vomiting on the Prime Minister during a state dinner.