Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who attended a White House meeting on North Korea Wednesday, all-but-verified that the gathering was for show. On CNN’s “Erin Burnett Out Front,” the Democratic senator told the host that lawmakers “learned nothing [about North Korea] you couldn’t read in the newspaper.”
Donald Trump invited 100 senators to attend a classified briefing at 3p.m. today, bussing in the lawmakers from Capitol Hill to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building auditorium. Several senators who attended said the president discussed issues they were already aware of from the press.
“Why do you think he had you come to the White House for this?” Burnett asked.
“Oh, complete optics,” Merkley said. “Giving him a chance to say he considers it important enough to have us come to the White house.”
Merkley noted that given the stakes, one could have anticipated that Trump would present a strategy for dealing with North Korea (particularly since—as Vice President Mike Pence noted—“The era of strategic patience is over”).
“They’re not willing to share that yet,” Merkley said. “So we learned nothing you couldn’t read in a newspaper.”
Watch the video below, via CNN:
Sen. Jeff Merkley on the North Korea meeting at the WH: “We learned nothing you couldn’t read in the newspaper” https://t.co/JZD5Zw4xOx
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 26, 2017
White House turmoil as Trump aides Mnuchin and Navarro get in ‘knockdown, drag-out’ yelling match: report
According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.
One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.
The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.
WATCH: CNN uses video to bust Trump for lying and stealing credit for veterans program signed by Obama
Reacting to Donald Trump's abrupt departure from his Saturday press conference after he was pressed by a CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid for lying and taking credit for a veterans bill signed into law by former President Barack Obama, CNN's Victor Blackwell shared clips of the former president announcing the signing in 2014 and Trump attempting to steal credit yesterday.
According to Blackwell, "One of President Trump's go-to lies is his role in passing Veterans Choice. You saw it at the end of the news conference when he walked away. Well that was when he was faced with a question why he said that he passed Choice and Accountability for the V.A."
Nagasaki marks 75 years since atomic bombing
The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday commemorated the 75th anniversary of its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with its mayor and the head of the United Nations warning against a nuclear arms race.
Nagasaki was flattened in an atomic inferno three days after Hiroshima -- twin nuclear attacks that rang in the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by atomic weapons.
Survivors, their relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended a remembrance ceremony in Nagasaki where they called for world peace.
Participants offered a silent prayer at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the time the second and last nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped over the city.