When pressed on what the remark meant he simply replied: “You’ll find out.”
Adding to the surreal feeling, classical music played in the background and tables were set in the nearby Blue Room for a fancy meal.
Reporters at the gathering expressed confusion around the event ― which was called after the day’s press “lid” was placed for the evening, reports Nick Visser.
A lid is called when the President has no more scheduled public appearances and is effectively done for the day. It was reinstated after photos were taken.
Speculation has been rife as to what the President may have meant but would not confirm when asked if it referred to ongoing political situations.
“What’s the storm?” a reporter asked. “On Iran? On ISIS? On what?”
A senior administration official said on Thursday that Trump was expected to announce soon he would decertify the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, reports Reuters.
Earlier in the evening, while seated with the top defence officials in the cabinet room, Trump talked about the threat from North Korea and preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“In North Korea, our goal is denuclearization,” he said. “We cannot allow this dictatorship to threaten our nation or our allies with unimaginable loss of life. We will do what we must do to prevent that from happening. And it will be done, if necessary, believe me.”
During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if needed to defend itself or US allies.
The President on Thursday also had tough words for Iran, saying the country had not lived up to the spirit of an agreement forged with world powers to curb its nuclear program.
Trump has filled top posts within his administration with military generals, including his chief of staff, retired General John Kelly, and national security adviser, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. McMaster, who normally dresses in civilian clothes at the White House, wore his uniform for the meeting.
Without being specific, Trump pressed the leaders to be faster at providing him with “military options” when needed.
“Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options, when needed, at a much faster pace. I know that government bureaucracy is slow, but I am depending on you to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy,” he said during their cabinet room meeting.
The White House did not immediately reply to a request to clarify Trump’s remark.