North Korea always times its announcements or undertakes any controversial activities with clear consideration of times and dates. Thus it was not a coincidence that the weekend’s ballistic missile test occurred while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a guest of American President Donald Trump. The reaction to the news provided an evening of entertainment for the other guests at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, but a poor image of America’s handling of any international crisis.

Hillary Clinton email scandal

The electoral struggle between eventual winner Donald Trump and Democrat candidate #Hillary Clinton was dogged by the issue of Clinton’s use of a private email server during her term as Secretary of State.

The call of “Lock her up!” by the public became a regular rallying cry during his campaign rallies and provided the backdrop for his statements that he would be tougher and more security minded than Clinton.

These matters had been investigated a number of times and no cause was found to undertake legal proceedings against her but this did not stop the constant referrals to the issue which was made even worse when the James B. Comey, the Director of the FBI, announced that his Bureau was investigating emails only weeks before the election. Many believe that this decision was a contributing factor to Clinton’s loss by swinging potential Clinton voters to Trump.

This ghost of the presidential campaign came back to haunt President #Donald Trump on the weekend.

Social media

In the world of Twitter and Facebook that the President loves to use, the world soon knew that President Trump’s reaction to the Korean missile test occurred in public and that the other guests of the resort could watch on as documents and information were downloaded on smart phones, examined and discussed at the tables.

These activities did not follow the procedures of previous Presidents who immediately went to safe places that allowed them to receive sensitive information and discuss the matters in a safe secure environment.

These images of potentially insecure communication devices downloading sensitive information and the discussions occurring in an open area immediately raised controversy about the seriousness with which the President considers security issues.

Memories and questions

Journalists and members of the public have long memories and it did not take long for many to raise Hillary Clinton’s political “ghost” from the presidential campaign. The allegations against her never uncovered any mishandling of sensitive matters, yet the man who pilloried her for alleged misbehavior on security turned his first true international issue into a public show for the customers of his resort.

This incident also happened in the midst of another controversial issue which led to the resignation as national security advisor by General Michael Flynn on Monday due to his conversations with the Russian Ambassador during the transition period. In the space of two days security has suddenly become a headline issue for Donald Trump.

As we await the next test for the Administration we can only wonder who will be advising the President in place of Michael Flynn, but that is not the most important question to ask the Oval Office.

The President must ask himself if the images seen on the weekend will instill faith in how he and his staff handle sensitive security issues in the future. In addition, will the incoming National Security Advisor, no matter who it will be, have the strength of character to address these issues with the President to ensure they never happen again?

As with too many things, only time will tell.