President Donald Trump was photographed huddled with top aides in complete view of diners at his Mar-a-Lago resort as they coordinated their response to North Korea's missile test, The New York Times reported.
And the newspaper calls it "a remarkable public display of presidential activity that is almost always conducted in highly secure settings."
The scene was captured by a club member Richard DeAgazio, who was dining nearby. His photographs show presidential aides on their computers and Trump on his cellphone at the club's terrace. The images also show Trump conferring with Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, who had been his guest, while staff members reviewed documents using cellphones as flashlights.
"Holy Moly !!! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan," DeAgazio wrote later on Facebook.
He describes how the two leaders "conferred and then went into another room for hastily arranged press conference," the Times reported.
Democrats were quick to criticize Trump for allowing the incident to be played out in public.
Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Tom Udall of New Mexico, denounced the president for discussing the North Korean missile launch in the open, the newspaper reported.
"This is America's foreign policy, not this week's episode of 'Saturday Night Live,'" the senators said in a statement. "We urge our Republican colleagues to start taking this administration's rash and unprofessional conduct seriously before there are consequences we all regret."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said: "He never should have had such a sensitive discussion in such a public place."
But CBS News reported the White House denies what the president did posed a security risk. The White House insists the president was briefed on the North Korea incident in a classified setting before and after the actual dinner.
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