Before Donald Trump attended his first FBI briefing as the Republican presidential candidate, he discussed national security with about a dozen experts at his Trump Tower office, according to one participant, Rep. Peter King.
Trump held the meeting around a conference table in his 25th floor office as he preparing to release his position on homeland security, said King (R-Seaford), a member of the House Intelligence Committee and chairman of the House counterterrorism subcommittee.
The list of those in attendance, as recalled by King, include several hard-liners on homeland security, including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and retired Gen. Michael Flynn.
“I spoke on the importance of getting intelligence reports and surveillance in Muslim communities” in the United States, King said in a phone call.
He also said he and other discussed the importance of naming “Islamic terrorists as the enemy,” a practice that Republicans have long engaged in while criticizing President Barack Obama for failing to do.
Giuliani ran the meeting as Trump listened and kept it moving with comments and questions, King said.
Before Trump left, King said he met with him and told him that he supported his recent speech in the Milwaukee suburbs that called for law and order, and support for the police.
Also attending the meeting, King said, were Ivanka Trump, campaign official Paul Manafort and newly elevated campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, as well as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and Republican Pennsylvania Reps. Lou Baretta and Tom Marino, both House Homeland Security Committee members.
Trump arrived shortly before 4 p.m. at FBI offices in downtown Manhattan for his official briefing, in a motorcade that included more than a dozen vehicles using sirens and lights. The candidate left after spending two hours inside.
With Emily Ngo