There were conflicting explanations offered Wednesday to news organizations by the Trump Administration on why President Donald Trump had threatened a vigorous military attack against North Korea, when he vowed Tuesday to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on the Pyongyang regime of Kim Jong Un.
"The words were his own", said Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
O'Neill said each time Trump visits the city, daily security costs will exceed $300,000.
Politico quoted one White House official who called the Trump remarks, "impromptu," while the New York Times said the warning "was entirely improvised, according to several people with direct knowledge of what unfolded".
The president's apparent willingness to improvise marks a sharp departure from the carefully calculated approach past administrations have taken to countering years of over-the-top threats from North Korea and other delicate diplomatic matters.
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But not all Democrats were critical of the President. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), urging them to support Rep. Jamie Raskin's (D-Md.) bill calling for Trump to undergo an evaluation.
"He's not going to go around threatening Guam and he's not going to threaten the United States and he's not going to threaten Japan and he's not going to threaten South Korea", Trump said.
A reporter in the room asked, "Any comment on the reports about North Korea's nuclear capabilities?" "Traditional diplomacy is not created to deal with threats of nuclear attacks, and it is not created to deal with the repeated defiance of the United Nations".
But Trump pushed aside such concerns, saying "there are no mixed messages".
The escalating threats followed reports that North Korea has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile. Among those taken by surprise, they said, was John F. Kelly, the retired four-star Marine general who has just taken over as White House chief of staff and has been with the president at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., for his working vacation.