Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago “situation room” photograph tweeted by White House press secretary Sean Spicer Friday has come under scrutiny as people closely look into the people who were in the room with the president during a briefing over Syria airstrike in response to the chemical attack.
The image has also been likened to the 2011 iconic photo that showed former President Barack Obama with his national security team in the White House Situation Room as they monitored a live video showing the killing of Osama bin Laden.
In the latest photograph, Trump is seen sitting at a table with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, National Security Adviser HR McMaster, Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, special adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and others. Spicer is also seen in the shot sitting in the corner, near the door.
Sitting on the sidelines is adviser Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell.
Spicer tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, were not in the room, but participated in the briefing by secure video conference.
“I wonder if the similarity to bin laden raid photo is intentional #SyriaStrikes,” CNN’s chief national security correspondent wrote on Twitter.
After about 100 people were killed in a chemical attack on Syria’s Idlib province Tuesday, Trump ordered missile strikes on the air base in Syria from which the chemicals were launched. The airstrike received mixed reactions from the world, with Iran and Russia condemning Trump’s move.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the airstrike an “aggression against a sovereign nation” and saw it as an “attempt to distract the world from civilian casualties from U.S. military action in Iraq.” The military action did “significant damage to U.S.-Russia ties,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.