Donald Trump’s provocative military stance toward North Korea has been met with an equally provocative response tonight, as Kim Jong-Un just launched a missile even as U.S. warships sit just off the coast of the Korean Peninsula. And as has been his custom whenever he’s known an international military incident was likely to take place, Trump is busy screwing around at his golf course resort.
South Korea says it believes that the North Korean missile launch has failed of its own accord (source: Reuters), meaning that the international community may have dodged yet another bullet with regard to figuring out what to do with erratic dictator Kim. Now the world awaits the reaction of the equally erratic Trump, who took off for his Mar-a-Lago golf course resort in Florida despite knowing that Kim was likely to take provocative action this weekend in accordance with his nation’s annual ceremonies.
Worse, MSNBC is reporting live on-air this evening that Donald Trump has virtually no senior advisers with him at Mar-a-Lago, as they didn’t make the trip presumably due to the holiday weekend. The only adviser Trump has with him is outgoing NSC deputy K.T. McFarland, who is resigning to take an Ambassador job, and is clearly no longer part of his decision making circle (link) – raising the question of why McFarland is even there tonight when Trump’s real advisers aren’t.
If Trump had remained at the White House this weekend, or even if he had traveled to nearby Camp David, he could have called in his core advisers this evening on short notice to help him develop his response to the North Korean missile launch. But as it is, he’s a thousand miles away from the people he’s supposed to be coordinating with on national emergencies like this.
This brings echoes of when Donald Trump traveled to Mar-a-Lago nine days ago without most of his top advisers, even though he knew he’d likely be ordering military action in Syria while he was there. Photos posted of the makeshift “situation room” at the golf course revealed that Trump was flanked by his Secretary of Commerce when he ordered the Syria bombing (link), not his Secretary of State of Defense or National Security Adviser. It’s no longer clear who’s in charge of United States foreign policy. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report