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Trump Security Protocols Questioned: Mar-a-Lago Resort is Not the White House Situation Room

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On Tuesday morning, President Trump tried to divert attention from the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn by saying the “real story” was “illegal leaks,” and asked whether there would also be leaks as he deals with North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test. But Trump’s handling of potentially classified information about the launch already appears to have been compromised—by his own actions. On Saturday, as the news of the test broke, Trump and other White House officials were dining in the restaurant at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where Trump was hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the weekend. As Trump and top officials moved to coordinate the United States’ response, other Mar-a-Lago diners gawked at the scene. Some even posted pictures of it on Facebook. For more, we’re joined by California Democratic Congressmember Ted Lieu.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Before we finish this conversation, I wanted to ask you about North Korea. Right now, in his tweets, President Trump says he’s very concerned about all these intelligence leaks, because what would it mean if they were doing this around North Korea. It certainly did not seem like that when he was learning of the North Korea missile launch in the middle of the dining—the public dining room at Mar-a-Lago. And you can see all those pictures that were put out of him having these conversations about what could be classified information, among the diners, to their shock, as well, and his aides shining flashlights so he could look at documents. But what about what’s happening with North Korea?

REP. TED LIEU: Let me first address what you just said. We’re about to send a letter asking for an investigation into what happened at his resort. His resort is not the White House Situation Room. It should not be treated as such. In addition, there has been some evidence that he’s using an unsecured Android phone that can also be easily hacked. So we want to see if that’s true or not.

With regards to North Korea, that is a problem. North Korea is developing ballistic missile technology. They do have nuclear weapons. So, the United States needs to work with our allies to try to reduce and mitigate this threat. Unfortunately, we have a president that has offended many of our allies, from Mexico to Australia to countries in Europe. And hopefully, this president will learn that the best way to handle danger, such as North Korea, is to work with other countries, not offend them.

AMY GOODMAN: Ted Lieu, I want to thank you for being with us, Democratic congressman from Los Angeles, California, member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and continues to serve as a colonel in the Air Force Reserves. Thanks so much for being there. And, of course, we will also continue to cover these issues as they unfold. You can check updates at democracynow.org.

I’m Amy Goodman. When we come back, we look at one of the top aides to President Trump. His name is Stephen Miller. He’s 31 years old. He’s the former chief of staff of then-Senator Sessions, who is now the attorney general. He would warm up the crowds at candidate Trump’s campaign rallies in the last year. We’ll bring on people who have investigated him and know him from high school. Stay with us.

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The Stephen Miller Story: From Pestering Latino Students in High School to Drafting Muslim Ban

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