Senators from both parties panned Donald Trump's strange White House briefing on North Korea, including the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, who said he did not understand why the meeting even occurred.
Donald Trump invited the entire Senate for a briefing at the White House on North Korea and military preparation, but only spent 14 minutes with his fellow leaders.
Based on what those senators are now telling reporters, the entire meeting seems to have been a colossal waste of time.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told the Washington Post, “There was very little, if anything new” in the meeting, adding, “I remain mystified about why the entire Senate had to be taken over to the White House rather than conducting it here.”
A Democratic senator told the New York Times that, during the meeting, Trump did his “ridiculous adjective” bit, and that in response there were “about 80 sets of invisible eyes rolling.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), currently chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had a rather lukewarm response for reporters:
CORKER on North Korea briefing at WH: "It was an OK briefing"
Q: What do you mean, you didn't really learn much?
CORKER: "I–it was OK…"
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) April 26, 2017
When I asked Chairman Corker if the North Korea briefing trip to the White House was worthwhile, he told me "I'm not sure"
— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) April 26, 2017
One Republican senator told The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe that, when pressed for details on what U.S. policy towards North Korea is, “the briefers gave us very, very few details,” and noted that the event lacked “even straight answers on what the policy is regarding N. Korea and its testing of ICBMs.”
Another senator told the Post that he was “still unclear what kind of briefing this was,” and was not sure if it was classified or not. He also said, “It’s not like we learned some earth-shaking thing that’s going to happen tomorrow.”
The ridicule being heaped on Trump by senators from both parties, in contrast to the important mission of dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat, underscores just how unprepared he is for this job.
The idea that a President would invite every senator to the White House on such an important topic without offering up any serious ideas, plans, or initiatives seems to show a White House likely more invested in the optics than substance.
Based on Trump’s track record, that’s probably a very good bet.