It’s not uncommon for senators to meet with the president on Capitol Hill now and then, especially over important topics like healthcare and other initiatives that need extra support.
However, it’s exceedingly rare for a sitting president to invite all 100 members of Congress to the White House for a briefing on a rogue, nuclear-capable country on the brink of war with the rest of the world.
Obviously, President Trump isn’t messing around.
Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea, senior Senate aides said on Monday.
All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said.
While top administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy and national security matters, it is unusual for the entire 100-member Senate to go to such an event at the White House, and for those four top officials to be involved.
U.S. officials have expressed mounting concern over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.
President Donald Trump criticized North Korea’s “continued belligerence” and said its actions were destabilizing during a telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, the White House said.
The briefing will take place at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT).
House aides said they were working with the White House to set a similar briefing for members of the House of Representatives.