In phone call with Merkel, Trump cites ‘urgent security challenge’
The Trump administration is preparing to brief all 100 senators this week on the situation in North Korea, as President Donald Trump calls the country a “real threat to the world” and confers with the leaders of China, Japan and Germany.
The unusual full-Senate briefing is scheduled for Wednesday, according to reports, and comes after Trump criticized North Korea’s “continued belligerence” in a phone call with President Xi Jinping of China on Sunday. In a separate call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, Trump discussed “the urgent security challenge posed by North Korea,” the White House said.
The administration has expressed concern over Pyongyang’s missile tests and nuclear ambitions.
Trump has ratcheted up rhetoric against North Korea in recent days, saying Monday at the White House that “North Korea is a big world problem,” and that “people have put blinders on for decades.”
He didn’t disclose intentions, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that in their Sunday phone call Trump “has indicated by his words and actions that all possible options are on the table.”
A White House spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment about the briefing. But Reuters reported that all 100 senators have been invited to the White House for a briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Doesn't the President consult Congress before he goes to war? Is that what this briefing is?