Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont did not mince words when describing the all-hands Senate meeting at the White House on Wednesday, including the reason behind his decisision not to attend.
“I did not want to be part of a road-show for the White House,” Sanders said to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes during an interview on “All In with Chris Hayes.”
In what was also described as a “dog-and-pony show” by members of the Senate, Sanders lambasted the decision to hold the meeting in what is traditionally held in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility — a secure room of the congressional building devoid of any “cyber-security issues.”
“These highly classified briefings always take place in what is called the SCIF room in the Congress,” said Sanders. “What I did not want to be, is part of a photo opportunity or a political effort on the part of the White House.”
The entire US Senate travelled in a convoy of buses to the White House on Wednesday to take part in the classified briefing on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities. The reaction after the meeting was tepid.
“It was an OK briefing,”Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chair of the Foreign Relations committee, said to reporters.
“What was discussed, I already knew,” said Corker continued in a BuzzFeed News report.
“I remain mystified about why the entire Senate had to be taken over to the White House rather than conducting it here [at the Capitol],” Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said in a Washington Post report.
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