In the latest example of poor decision-making by the outgoing president, not to mention some truly troubling political optics, with the world on fire following three separate acts of apparent terrorism around the globe, including Ankara, Zurich and Berlin, White House pool reports showed that President Barack Obama was off to enjoy a game of golf shortly after learning of today's tragic events.
As Mediaite reports, the first email from the White House pool shows that Obama directed his staff to keep him updated on the situation in Turkey regarding the assassination of the Russian Ambassador.
Subject: Press Pool Report 4
From the White House, per Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz:
“This morning the President was briefed by his National Security Team on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey in Ankara today. The President directed his team to provide updates as warranted.”
Meanwhile, at 10:10 a.m. in Kailua, the press van prepares to depart the rental house where we’ve been holding.
In a following email, we are informed that Obama is leaving the rental home to go play golf.
Subject: Pool report 5
The President and his motorcade departed the Kailua neighborhood where the First Family rents a vacation home at 10:21 a.m. Spectators on the street threw shakas and recorded photos or video on cell phones as the motorcade made the 10-minute drive to Mid-Pacific Country Club, where the President will be golfing under cloudy skies.
And here is AP's description of today's events in Hawaii:
During his vacation in Hawaii, President Barack Obama has been briefed by his national security team on the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.
The president on Monday directed his team to give him updates as warranted.
After a morning workout, Obama headed to Lanikai, where he will play golf at Mid Pacific Country Club.
Obama has played golf at the club during his annual vacations to the islands. Last year, he sunk an impressive 40-foot putt on the 18th green that drew cheers from those watching from the road outside the course.
The president is teeing off with friends Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme and Joe Paulsen.
Despite his relaxing schedule, Obama did manage to squeeze in a record number of commutations, pardons, and sentence reductions. The Press Secretary’s office did release a statement on the assassination at least.
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov
The United States strongly condemns the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, in Ankara today, which reportedly also left others wounded. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of Ambassador Karlov and the other victims, and we offer our condolences to the Russian people and Government. This heinous attack on a member of the diplomatic corps is unacceptable, and we stand united with Russia and Turkey in our determination to confront terrorism in all of its forms.
With the global news dominated by both the assassination in Turkey, which will have significant implications on foreign policy and relations, and multiple deaths in Berlin via a truck driving through a market in an incident reminiscent of the Nice terror attack, Obama felt it was prudent to enjoy himself for the next few hours.