Every U.S. senator is invited to visit the White House today for a special briefing on the North Korean threat.
The White House is an unusual venue as these sensitive briefings typically take place at the Capitol, but senators are eager nonetheless to learn more about what the administration’s plans are, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes
“Obviously an assessment of what could be the greatest threat that we face since the Cuban missile crisis - I think it’s very helpful to hear from the president of the United States,” said Senator John McCain.
The nation’s top military and diplomatic officials will update the senators this afternoon, where President Trump plans to drop by.
He issued a blunt assessment during a meeting with Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday.
“This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not. North Korea is a big world problem,” Mr. Trump said.
Senators typically meet with briefers in a secure room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol -- not an unsecured auditorium at the White House.
When asked why the White House was chosen, Delaware Democrat Christopher Coons said, “I don’t know. But since this is the first time that the president has invited the entire Senate over, I think we should go and hear what he has to say.”
South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham argued the White House setting sends an important message.
“I think going to the commander in chief’s house is the right place for congress to be and I hope the world is watching that we are going to his house and we are going to listen to his concerns,” Graham said.
Graham and McCain had dinner with the president earlier this week.
They said it did not appear he had made up his mind on whether to use force against North Korea. Later in the day, the same military briefers will travel to the Capitol tonight to fill in members of the House.