Do you have £160,000 and a fascination with the prospect of nuclear annihilation? You may want to look into purchasing a membership at Mar-a-Lago, the “winter White House,” where this weekend some guy posted a selfie with the Trump aide who carries the United States’ nuclear football.
Richard DeAgazio, an investor and actor, posted several pictures from Mar-a-Lago this weekend showing US President Donald Trump and his entourage. One post, first reported by the Washington Post, read, “HOLY MOLY !!! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan.”
The photo appears to confirm what CNN reported this weekend: that “aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents.” The fact that aides are directing their phone cameras at classified documents is horrifying enough by itself.
But wait! There’s more bizarre news from Palm Beach, FL’s finest resort. Another post, first noticed by Pablo Torre on Twitter, appears to show DeAgazio with a man he calls “Rick,” who he says “carries the nuclear football.” DeAgazio was clearly pleased with this encounter, saying “Rick is the Man.”
A second image in the post shows Rick, who is the Man, carrying the briefcase elsewhere, and a recent Wikipedia image seems to show the same man carrying the nuclear football. For those unfamiliar, the nuclear football is a large black briefcase that is carried wherever the president goes. Its main purpose is to confirm the president’s identity and allow him to communicate with the Pentagon. The football also provides the president with a “simplified menu of nuclear strike options.” It is not a briefcase you would want to leave on the train or set down at the feet of a random Mar-a-Lago member while you pose for a photo, I would imagine.
Other images show DeAgazio with Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon:
And here’s President Trump on his phone while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks to the heavens for guidance:
DeAgazio’s IMDB page shows he’s appeared in several movies, including as “Restaurant Patron” in Ted and “Wedding Guest” in Bride Wars. Other posts on DeAgazio’s Facebook page indicate he’s a big Trump supporter; one features a meme of Barack Obama in a sombrero, praising Trump for “enforcing the laws” on immigration.
DeAgazio has since made his Facebook page private, or deleted it entirely. Gizmodo emailed DeAgazio for comment this morning and has not yet received a reply.
Given that the nuclear football follows Trump everywhere and is therefore photographed a lot, the photo itself isn’t really a security issue. But these pictures are another sad reminder that anyone with £160,000 to spare, including the random guy who played Restaurant Patron in the comedic film Ted, can buy a level of access to the president and his closest staff. He can even hobnob with the guy who holds in his hands the power to vaporise the planet. Just another cool thing to keep in mind about this insane world we now occupy.