Obama on hiatus from vacation with Iraq, Ferguson on his agenda
August 18th, 2014
09:24 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama on hiatus from vacation with Iraq, Ferguson on his agenda

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama returned to the White House late Sunday night, taking the unusual step of interrupting his Martha's Vineyard vacation for two days.

The short visit was announced on August 6, the day before Obama authorized targeted airstrikes in Iraq aimed at protecting U.S. personnel and preventing a potential genocide of minorities by terrorist group ISIS.

U.S. military action in Iraq is just one of the issues the White House is monitoring while the President takes his vacation. Over the past week, in between golfing with friends, visits to the beach and jazz concerts, advisers also kept Obama apprised of violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of Michael Brown.

Obama will have meetings on both issues on Monday. After his daily briefing in the morning, the President will convene the National Security Council to receive an update on the situation in Iraq. Recent reports suggest Kurdish fighters, with help from U.S. warplanes, may soon score an important victory over ISIS by wresting back control of the Mosul Dam.

Later in the day the President will meet with Attorney General Eric Holder for updates on the situation in Ferguson. The Department of Justice has taken an active role in investigating whether police violated Brown's civil rights and announced over the weekend that a federal medical examiner will conduct a third autopsy. This follows the initial state autopsy as well as an independent one at the request of Brown's family.

Holder and senior adviser Valerie Jarett have taken the lead on the situation in Ferguson, giving the President regular briefings and communicating with local and state leaders and civil rights groups on the ground.

A private lunch with Vice President Joe Biden, just returned from a vacation in the Hamptons, is also on the schedule.

The White House is expected to make an announcement about immigration in the coming month. With Congress unable to come up with a plan that could pass both chambers, Obama has said he's not going to wait for congressional action on the issue. He places the blame squarely on Republicans' failure to negotiate legislation that will improve the situation along the southern border, where thousands of unaccompanied children have flooded toward the United States this year from Central America.

As for Tuesday, the President's schedule is unknown except that he will leave a humid D.C. (with a chance of rain) for the sunny skies of the Vineyard at some point.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Lizzie – Stop with the non stop hate and personal attacks. Just kidding, you are a hoot.

    August 18, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. rs

    Yes to Hope and Change – Hillary 2016

    Don't cry for Obama having to cut short his vacation. Millions of unemployed Americans haven't had a vacation in years.

    Maybe the black part of Barry is preventing him from helping the white part of his gene pool understand that militants in Missouri cannot be above the law. Calm them down, no, arrest them! It's still a crime to steal. That will not bring back Brown.
    So what side is using race to divide again?!
    Meanwhile, out here in reality- as far as unemployment goes- have you noticed it is worse in Red States? Could that be proof the GOP has no freakin' idea about how to fix their little mess of 2007-8? Yeah, that and that they'd rather continue to hurt and punish the Middle Class just so they can keep on lathering the rich with benefits and tax cuts.

    August 18, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Why do Fox viewers think it is OK for Cliven Bundy, welfare queen, to steal? I only saw whites at the Bundy Ranch.

    August 18, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Rudy NYC


    Rudy NYC
    There is one aspect of the shooting that the Ferguson authorities need to answer. Why did he have a shot in the back?
    The vague description of the incident by the police department puts the officer *inside* the vehicle, with Brown standing at the window, supposedly struggling for a gun. The officer was reported to fired shots to stop him. Okay. Then where is the blood spattered vehicle?

    Witness accounts match the known facts far better than the sketchy account given at a news conference by the chief.

    August 18, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Yes to Hope and Change – Hillary 2016

    @rudy NYC

    "Are you okay with stealing? Of any kind?"
    Nope. Why do you ask?

    "Do you want the unrest in Missouri to continue?"
    Nope. Why do you ask?

    "Why doesn't Chicago have this level of unrest? More black on black murders, no one there is rioting!"
    Nope. The people doing the shooting are being arrested when they can be identified and captured.

    "Want justice, or free food and stolen property?"
    Nope. I want to see justice, which seem to be in the process of being circumvented.

    "These are criminals. No matter the skin tone."
    If you're talking about the rouge police officers and the looters, then I agree.

    "Do you see whites in the streets every time a white child is murdered?"
    Nope. When was the last time you say a white child "murdered" by a black police officer?

    August 18, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. rs

    old age voter

    After president Obama lost the war in Iraq we had won; of course U.S. combat troops will be back Iraq to fix what the president screwed up; way to go – always wrong Obama.
    You are obviously too old to remember President Bush- the one who signed off on ending the Iraq war with his corrupt puppet Malaki because Iraq wanted the ability to try our soldiers in their courts.
    It was easy for Bush to do- after all he had no good reason to start the war in Iraq, why would he need a good one to end it?

    August 18, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Yes to Hope and Change - Hillary 2016

    Ferguson is a local police matter. WH and your storm troopers do not need to interfere.

    Barry and his civics cronies and the new version of the Black Panthers (militant domestic terrorist organization) is the reason for the unrest and rioting in the streets.

    August 18, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. smith

    @Rudy-The Chief of Police in Ferguson told reporters that is why they released the video. CNN covered the interveiw.

    August 18, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. salty dog

    Not necessarily will there be blood splatter, he was a big guy, the bullets may not have exited his body, with a shirt on, likely not much blood by the car, the street where he shot him 5 more times, two head shots, those were the ones he shot after he was surrendering, a real mess there .

    August 18, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. avoxx

    Any president whould be stretched to thier limit during these tough times. Mr.Obama should have learned from the loud mouthed professor who got himself arrested and made a stink about it to stay out of domestic issues. He should allow the states to conduct thier own handling of this and any other situation that may come up. The legal system has a process and circumventing that process not only confuses the process but inhibits its ability to be carried out. As has been said many times that we don't know the facts, and from what I have heard this seems to be a situation where a young man tried to take a weapon from an officer who at that moment would be justified in shooting the suspect. I would be the first to agree that our police force is aggressive and tough. As it should be. That is why when the police tell you to do something you do it. The responsible thing for Mr.Obama to do is for him to lambaste those criminals and hunt them down and have them arrested! This would show that if you riot and pillage you will go to jail. Protests of all kinds are conducted with the aim of achieving a sollution to a problem.

    August 18, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Bill from GA

    sonny chapman – " .. three weeks before the REAL 9-11 Attack, George W. .... He didn't seem too stressed. "

    Of course not; W knew dickey C was really calling the shots.

    August 18, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Yes to Hope and Change - Hillary 2016

    We are the United States of America!

    Not the blue, red, black, white, brown, yellow, green or purple states of America.

    We the people!

    Not we the government.

    CNN viewers and FOX viewers have everything in common, they hate the other sides view point and are too closed minded to see the truth. They cannot even spell tolerance.

    You want equal rights, then first admit you are both idiots. Start with something you have in common. Then "Hope and Change" can begin.

    August 18, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Bill from GA

    And 'Common' Joe Biden, just returned from a vacation in the Hamptons.

    Wait till fox "News" gets a hold of THAT.

    But I bet he took the train.

    August 18, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    --old has lost his mind with old age. Let me ask a direct question, so is this o.k to kill just for stealing? If so, why not defrauding on tax laws find the same. Defrauding taxes is nothing but stealing. Where are the courts? Why only black people get killed? No answer? Nonsense. Bust that police guy, put him in court. Let court decide.

    August 18, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Bill from GA

    Rudy NYC – " Why don't they just go ahead do the one thing that is likely to quell some of the emotions? Arrest the officer. Done. It's what the protestors have been wanting all along "

    Or the locals could just get a lynch mob for him. Let's appease the locals and dispense with law and order.

    OR, we could wait for the Justice Department investigation to finish, and if charges are warranted, THEN arrest him.

    August 18, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. smith

    @Rudy-The Jonson fella who was with Brown lied about the robbery at first then admitted to it. He pretty much lost alot of creditability as a witness. Also, some of the winesses said Brown was shot in the back. Dr. Badan`s autopsy shows they lied as well. The witnesses are not looking very creditable at this point.

    August 18, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. sonny chapman

    They hate us for our freedom.

    August 18, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Lizzie: "sonny..... Sure glad you been there and witnessed it first hand."

    "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US" was the President's Daily Brief prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and given to U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday, August 6, 2001.

    The brief warned of terrorism threats from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda 36 days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. On August 6, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency delivered a President's Daily Brief to President Bush, who was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

    Those are the FACTS; doesn't matter if sonny added a little bit of poetic color to what Mr. Bush was actually doing. The bottom line is he did NOTHING, just like he ignored Richard Clarke and Clinton's transition team, who tried desperately to impress upon Bush the very real threat of bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

    It is also FACT that Bush was trying to figure out a way to invade Iraq within a month of his inauguration in January 2001 (source: Paul O'Neill, who served in Bush's Cabinet for almost two years).

    BTW, why do all you righties continue to claim that Bush "kept us safe," when the worst attack on American soil happened ON HIS WATCH?

    August 18, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Bruce

    NixOn Barry: 'People have got to know whether or not their President is a spook. Well, I am a spook." I am a (card-carrying Company) man!

    August 18, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. J.V.hodgson

    Too often so many blogs are factually inaccurate and posted
    is it their fault? Sorry methinks not you can read the same story on differently leaning political media say Fox News and PBS having totally different content on the same matter.
    Journalism is good only when it Is factual, has complete integrity ( regardless of political leaning) and clearly separates opinion, or commentary on the facts. and the reporting should also be legal, honest, decent, and truthful.
    Our US media is guilty of polarizing or gridlocking our political system.
    You can all do better, bloggers as well.

    August 18, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Rudy NYC


    @Rudy-The Chief of Police in Ferguson told reporters that is why they released the video. CNN covered the interveiw.
    The chief told reporters that he released it because reporters were requesting information about a rumored robbery that could be related to the Brown shooting. If what you say is true, then why did the police only release a portion of the material? Face the facts, smith. Your facts are skewed, and not entirely accurate.

    Do you recall the chief also saying that the alleged robbery had nothing to do with the shooting? Until he revised himself about an hour later, after the community became outraged over his reports. Don't quote me.

    "We released the photos and video of an alleged robbery, despite the fact that it had nothing to do with the shooting."

    August 18, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Bill from GA

    A lot of complaints, locally in Ferguson and here in comments, about releasing the video of Brown stealing, and assaulting a person.

    The locals in Ferguson wanted the policeman's name, allegedly so they could see if he had any previous troubles with blacks; that was relevant to establish his character, I guess.

    Yet when a video is released showing Brown stealing and assaulting a small, older store clerk, the authorities are accused of 'tarnishing his good image'.

    i don't expect the lefties to agree, but I call that a double standard.

    August 18, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Yes to Hope and Change – Hillary 2016: "Don't cry for Obama having to cut short his vacation. Millions of unemployed Americans haven't had a vacation in years."

    When was the last time you held a job that required you to be available 24/7, Commander in Chief of the world's largest military and the remaining economic super-power?


    August 18, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. avoxx

    The responsible thing for Mr.Obama to do is to learn to stay out of domestic legal issues. The loud mouthed professor who got himself arrested should have taught him that. He should lambaste those who steal tv's in protest,hunt them down and send them to jail! This not some third world country whose inhabitants can form mobs and loot and destroy. If we send a clear message that this is not considered an effective means of protest. If a stereotype is going to start being formed that the black community is stealing tv's and the only questions being asked are what stereotype goes with my new tv for surround sound. If a mob of people began pillaging my neighborhood, there would be a pile of empty cartridge spent protecting not only my stuff but my neighbors as well. Back in the gold rush era bands of criminals burnt down whole city blocks to get a the gold in the banks and hotels. After Rodney King we should have gone after those looters and murdering thugs who took part. If we don't go after these people then any situation will be used to pilfer and riot and this tactic will serve to make worse the business climate that exists in our inner cities. You can't get a grocery store to last in these areas because theft and robbery is so rampant it makes it unprofitable to conduct business thier. This will make it worse. Who in thier right mind would stick a nice showroom full of top of the line clothes or electronics in an area that has these kinds of crimes rates. The responsible black leaders need to come out and support law and order and the respect of our police force who are tasked with a very difficult job. It is easy to inflame peoples passion,but to focuse on logic sells less papers. I can not even entertain the thought that the officer in question set out to shoot anyone and that if a gun was fired by a police officer it was more than likely a justified shooting. New methods are being introduced to subdue criminals but for now bullets protect our officers wich everytime it happens it is a tragedy and profoundly sad.

    August 18, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Tampa Tim: "Why do Fox viewers think it is OK for Cliven Bundy, welfare queen, to steal? I only saw whites at the Bundy Ranch."

    Follow-up question: Why do Fox viewers support Cliven Bundy, who rides around on a horse carrying an American flag while simultaneously claiming he doesn't recognize the U.S. government AND uses U.S. currency to pay for things?

    More succinctly put: How do Fox viewers manage to dress themselves in the morning?

    August 18, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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