Photo: Who was in the room when Trump was briefed on the Syria strike?
The White House has released a photograph of the officials who were gathered in a room Thursday night at Mar-a-Lago when President Donald Trump’s national security team briefed him on the U.S. air strike in Syria.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted the photo Friday, hours after the United States launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian government-controlled Shayrat air base.
Mr. Trump said Thursday the surprise attack was retaliation for Syria President Bashar Assad’s apparent hand in a chemical attack earlier this week that killed more than 80 people in northwestern Syria. At least seven people were killed and another nine wounded in the U.S. air strike, according to the Syrian military. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, said the casualties included four military service members.
The photograph released by the White House captured one of the first key decision-making moments in Trump’s presidency. The briefing at the president’s Florida resort was attended by key members of the Trump administration, including Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was recently removed from his post on the National Security Council’s principals committee.
In his tweet, Spicer said three officials — Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford — were not physically in the room, but joined the briefing via video.
The picture bears resemblance to the now-famous photograph of former President Barack Obama meeting with top national security officials on the night of the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. That photograph was taken in a room off the Situation Room in the White House.
Trump is currently hosting China’s President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, which he often calls his “Winter White House.” Xi is the second foreign leader to visit Mar-a-Lago. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Trump at the resort in February.