Obama Vacations As Ukraine Crumbles
It appears President Barack Obama will keep his plans to go to Key Largo, FL this weekend, as a scheduled getaway for the first family. The move comes amid a world crisis of Russia threatening the West and the Obama Administration pushing Putin to hold back. This morning, it was reported that the Obamas might cancel the trip, given the unraveling situation in Ukraine, but just hours before the White House was defending the plans of the Florida trip this weekend.
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White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended President Obama’s weekend vacation in Key Largo, despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, arguing Obama would be able to monitor events from Florida.
“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House. It’s just that the weather will be a little warmer,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“The president is looking forward to spending some time with his wife and daughters, who are traveling down to Florida as well,” he continued. “There are some recreational amenities on the property, including workout facilities, tennis courts, a couple of golf courses.
“If there is an opportunity for the president to enjoy some of those amenities, then he’ll do that. What he will do, and what he is looking forward to doing, is getting a little downtime in the warm weather with his wife and daughters.”
Earlier this week, there was speculation the president could scrap the trip — his third vacation of the year — because of the crisis. But Earnest downplayed the suggestion, saying deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken is traveling to Florida with Obama, along with the “regular assortment of communication tools” allowing the president to attend secure briefings.
“We have complete confidence the president can handle all the responsibilities he has,” Earnest said.
The White House spokesman also said it was not unusual for the president, vice president, secretary of State and national security adviser to all be out of the nation’s capital. John Kerry and Susan Rice are traveling on business, while Vice President Biden is visiting the Virgin Islands for his second vacation there in three months.