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Trump Will Host Entire Senate at White House for North Korea Briefing

Trump Will Host Entire Senate at White House for North Korea Briefing

Tillerson and Mattis will join the senators.

President Donald Trump will host the entire U.S. Senate on Wednesday for a briefing on the situation with North Korea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will join the senators along with Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

It will take place at 3PM ET.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the media that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for the meeting. The Senate usually holds these meetings at a secure location on Capitol Hill, but Trump offered to host the meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The building “houses most of the National Security Council.” Officials will turn the auditorium into a “sensitive compartmented information facility” (SCIF), “which is the term for a room where sensitive national security information can be shared.”

Reuters confirmed the meeting after Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday. The call took place after “satellite images indicated increased activity around North Korea’s nuclear test site.” Kim Jong Un has declared that his country has entered its “final stage” to launch an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile).

Fox News reported:

Xi told Trump that China strongly opposed North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and hoped “all parties will exercise restraint and avoid aggravating the situation,” according to Chinese broadcaster CCTV. Trump hopes China could increase pressure on its isolated ally instead of using military options or trying to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Trump and Abe agreed to urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions.

“The North Korean nuclear and missile problem is an extremely serious security threat to not only the international community but also our country,” Abe told reporters after the phone call with Trump.

Last Friday, South Korea put itself on high alert right before North Korea’s celebration of the founding of the Korean People’s Army. The U.S. has also noticed “a higher-than-usual level of activity by Chinese bombers, signalling a possible heightened state of readiness by Beijing.”


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Close The Fed | April 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Since Congress in theory declares war, I wonder if this is to aid in that process since it looks like Trump is considering preemptive action.

    Ahh, we are STILL at war with North Korea… the President does NOT need to declare it again.

      Thane_Eichenauer in reply to Hitman. | April 26, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      The US government never formally declared war on a party in Korea. Any warmaking it engaged in was unconstitutional then and would be unconsitutional now.

Close The Fed | April 25, 2017 at 12:02 pm

I also wonder if there is a process for a secret vote so that we wouldn’t telegraph to NKorea our actions.

I’ve never heard of a secret congressional vote, just saying under these circumstances that would be beneficial.

I smell Trump planning something. Why brief the entire Senate in a “sensitive compartmented information facility” (SCIF) location? with 100 senators, some damn fool is gonna leak something. He WANTS some information leaked and my guess is he wants the info out and wants to finger some leakers in the process? Dems and maybe some RINO’s will leak but he can finger them for political capital? At minimum he wants the info in the wild.

Close The Fed | April 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm

I presume whatever is done, he doesn’t want them to claim he took action without informing them, and they can’t claim they have been left in the dark with inadequate information.

casualobserver | April 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Won’t information disclosures still be limited since some Senators don’t have highest level clearances? This has a theatrical feel to it. But that may be the main goal to show Pyonyang something secretive.

    Arminius in reply to casualobserver. | April 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I believe you’re onto something. See my comment below. I’m perplexed by the reporting that “…Officials will turn the auditorium into a ‘sensitive compartmented information facility” (SCIF), ‘which is the term for a room where sensitive national security information can be shared…'”

    You can’t just do that. I have a suspicion that, at most, the information will be classified SECRET. Most Senators don’t have TS/SCI clearances. In fact, no Senator gets a clearance the way you or I would. By virtue of being elected, and based upon committee assignments, they may or may not have a need to know. And without the need to know, they don’t have access.

    Intel agencies have Congressional liaison offices that have to approve information for release to Congress. Given the fact that you can’t turn an auditorium into a SCIF overnight (unless, as I’ve said, it meets the requirements for a T-SCIF) and that any information can not exceed the security clearance of the individual with the lowest security clearance, I don’t see how it’s possible the administration can brief them on everything that we know.

      Close The Fed in reply to Arminius. | April 25, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Not having studied it, it seems to me that Congress being the only body legally empowered to declare war, the security clearances or not are irrelevant.

      If those legally empowered to declare war do not have “the need to know,” no one does.

      Seriously, statutes can’t override the constitution.

        Arminius in reply to Close The Fed. | April 25, 2017 at 10:01 pm

        Do you really want Alcee Hastings privy to our most sensitive secrets?

        “…In 1988, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives took up the case, and Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury by a vote of 413-3. He was then convicted in 1989 by the United States Senate becoming the sixth federal judge in the history of the United States to be removed from office by the Senate. The Senate, in two hours of roll calls, voted on 11 of the 17 articles of impeachment. It convicted Hastings of eight of the 11 articles. The vote on the first article was 69 for and 26 opposed.[1]…”

        I’m not claiming that you do. It’s more of rhetorical question than anything else.

        I simply know this. The USIC does not tell every member of Congress everything. But the USIC does tell key members of Congress everything it knows.

Trump was the peace candidate. Has there been a silent coup? Does a secret junta govern America?

In the first Korean War, both China and Russia intervened on the side of the North. Both countries have repeatedly and recently called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. It seems we are in the run up to WW III.

    Old0311 in reply to bob sykes. | April 25, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Is that sky I see on your shoulder, I’ve never seen it fall like that before. That darned Trump must have done it. If Hillary had only been elected I would be able to sleep better. She has much more experience internationally than that Trump guy. Just look at her successes in Libya, and Egypt. Trump could never on a good day achieve things like that. I sure hope he doesn’t screw around and get us nuked by North Korea, or Iran. President Obama had those mad men under control. Pray with me.

    Mike H. in reply to bob sykes. | April 25, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    At the beginning of the Korean War Mao said no to the invasion of the South by the North. Kim then went to Stalin and asked for support which Stalin agreed to provide.

    The Chinese were drawn into the hostilities against their will because they didn’t want a democratic Korea on their border.

    My Father explained that the Chinese went to war with winter camouflage but no thermal liners causing them to freeze while firing their weapons. Mao was dead set against.

      Arminius in reply to Mike H.. | April 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      That’s weird that the CHICOMs would have entered the war wearing winter camouflage.

      They entered the war in November 1950. Here’s a picture of Hyesanjin in November 1950.

      There’s no snow on the ground. Winter hadn’t even set in yet. Chinese winter camo has a lot of white in it. They’d have stuck out like sore thumbs against all that brown.

      Fun fact: one of the guys I went through Naval Intelligence Officer Basic Course was a former enlisted Green Beret. One day he was going on about how much he hated the Navy Summer White uniform, expounding on its infrared signature and how it stood out against vegetation.

      We told him if we were ever stupid enough to be running around in the jungle wearing Summer Whites he had our permission to shoot us.

    Lee Jan in reply to bob sykes. | April 26, 2017 at 8:49 am

    DT surrounded himself with generals with the predictable result. Far too many clamored for the waiver for Mattis.
    Sorry to say that was not a good idea.

buckeyeminuteman | April 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm

The NORKS are the ones responsible for the escalated tension. The outcome is theirs alone to decide. If war is a must, the question is do you wage it before or after they go nuclear. The answer to that question should be obvious to all but Democrats and the media.

“…Officials will turn the auditorium into a ‘sensitive compartmented information facility” (SCIF), “which is the term for a room where sensitive national security information can be shared…'”

Whoa! This scares me. I was an SSO. I’ve gotten SCIFs ready for certification. To prove I am master of the obvious, tomorrow is Wednesday. You just don’t turn a room into a SCIF overnight. In fact, you just don’t turn any old room at all into a SCIF, period. It has to be built for the purpose. Among other things there has to be a preconstruction plan, and that plan has to be a matter of record.

Here’s a declassified DCID (Director of Central Intelligence Directive) on the subject in case any of you are interested.

“(DCID 6/9) � MANUAL

Physical Security Standards for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities

(Effective 18 November 2002)”

Clearly a President can do what he likes. But if that auditoriumwasn’t built to be a SCIF it can not be turned into one. It will be vulnerable.

I am of course leaving the possibility open that the auditorium was built to be a temporary SCIF and some moronic journo school grads are just d***ing up the reporting. A T-SCIF isn’t used as a SCIF all the time (Duh!) but it still has to meet the construction and sound attenuation requirements to protect classified.

DouglasJBender | April 25, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Why don’t they all learn sign language, and communicate that way? I imagine any ol’ room could easily be made SCIF in that case.