WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 10: President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International airport as they prepare to spend part of the weekend together at Mar-a-Lago resort on February 10, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The two are scheduled to get in a game of golf as well as discuss trade issues. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Shannon Donnelly and Aleese Kopf
Palm Beach Daily News
PALM BEACH, Fla.
On Saturday night at The Mar-a-Lago Club, as President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania entertained Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife at dinner under the stars on the terrace, there was a sudden flurry of activity as staff members from both administrations approached their respective chiefs.
As staff members and heads of state huddled at the table for 24, printed reports were passed around and examined by the light of cellphones or flashlights. Notes were scribbled. A uniformed service member carrying the battered leather schoolbag moved closer to the table.
A possible international nuclear crisis played out in front of at least 100 people, members or guests of The Mar-a-Lago Club.
None of whom, presumably, have a security clearance. But all of whom have cellphones, which they used to photograph what could well be the seed of nuclear annihilation.
Toni Holt Kramer, founder of the Trumpettes, said she didn't see what The Washington Post dubbed as an "open-air situation room."
But, after learning about the missile launch the next day, Kramer said she thought the president handled the situation "fabulously."
"The audacity they had to do that while Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe was there … this was no more than another attempt to cause a rift, to try to be problematic, try to make trouble, but they're not going to succeed," Kramer said. "(Trump) was so cool … the way that he responded that we're right by Japan's side and we're great friends."
Kramer said she's not worried if Trump has to make future national security decisions while at Mar-a-Lago.
"It's his second home," she said. "I'm sure he will deal with it right here. He's working all the time. He knows exactly what to do."
At last year's Red Cross Ball, barely one course into the four-course dinner, the Japanese ambassador heard the emergency ping on his cellphone and glanced down discreetly for a moment. He arose suddenly and excused himself with a courtly diplomatic bow.
The North Koreans had launched a missile, and the emissary had to return immediately to Washington. Other ambassadors followed.