President Donald Trump was briefed by his national security team Thursday on the strike in Syria at a secure location in Mar-a-Lago, the White House revealed in a picture on Friday.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer shared a photo on Twitter of Trump positioned at a table, and surrounded by advisers and cabinet members in the improvised situation room. A sign on the door says ‘quiet area’ and the team sat on the same chairs found at the resort’s dining areas.
They included Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, economic adviser Gary Cohn and chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner were also in the room as Trump received his briefing.
The photograph was taken at 9.15pm eastern time, roughly 45 minutes after the missiles landed. The strikes were announced at 9.20pm.
Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Joseph Dunford joined remotely, Spicer said.
Trump is currently at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, where he entertained Chinese President Xi Jinping and his delegation.
He attended meetings today with Xi today as they concluded their summit. ‘We have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China,’ Trump told reporters just before 11:30 am in his first appearance of the day.
His administration announced late on Friday afternoon, after Xi had left, that it would be slapping Syria with new sanctions for its crimes against humanity.
As Trump sat at the head of the table surrounded by his top staff watching the aftermath, it was evident that he was in charge and leading the attack – which is what we expect our Commander-in-Chief to do.
On the contrary, when Obama was in the situation room, he’s off to the side, sitting behind others who took the lead, and not even at the table. The difference in demeanor is a very clear representation of both presidents.
Photos often speak a thousand words, which is definitely the case in this scenario. Just as Obama would never order an air strike as punishment for a leader of a nation poisoning his people, he takes a back seat to bin Laden finally being taken out.
Trump takes action and is in control, which is why he sits at the head of the table where he can leads a nation out of the mess that his predecessor left.