Trump created a dog and pony show Wednesday by calling all members of the Senate to the White House for a ‘classified briefing’ on North Korea. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held at the Capitol, but Trump moved it to the White House and provided buses — a caravan of buses — to bring them to the White House.
According to the senators who went, the meeting revealed nothing new, and many were perplexed as to why they needed to go to the White House, and why the meeting was called at all. Some suggested that it was all for show.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Oregon Democrat, said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” that they learned nothing new in terms of details on the administration’s thinking on North Korea and any potential actions the US could take in response to another nuclear test. He said he believed the White House’s decision to have the meeting was for “optics.”
Those who suggested that the optics were more important than the substance haven’t forgotten that Trump’s previous job was as a reality show host and that he likes to be the star of any show. He is also closing in on the “100-day” mark of his presidency with nothing to show.
The essence of what they learned was detailed in a joint statement released by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats,
The president’s approach aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our allies and regional partners.
So, in other words, he intends to do nothing different than the presidents before him.