President Obama chowed down on a cheeseburger in Delaware and attended flashy Manhattan fundraisers on Thursday as two international crises unfolded, and the White House is saying that no consideration was given in changing the president's long-planned schedule.
The New York Times reports that as smoke billowed from Flight MH17, the president was ordering a cheeseburger and fries with a single mother at the Charcoal Pit in Delaware.
National Journal's Ron Fournier confirmed with a White House official that presidential aides discussed the poor timing of the stop, but pressed ahead anyway.
News arrived that Israel had launched a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip while Mr. Obama was en route to New York for a fundraiser at the Trump Place Apartments, the Times reported. Still, the president's schedule stayed on course.
"It is rarely a good idea to return to the White House just for show, when the situation can be handled responsibly from the road," said Jennifer Palmieri, the White House communications director, the Times reported. "Abrupt changes to his schedule can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people or creating a false sense of crisis."
White House officials pointed out that the president managed the crises by making calls to world leaders from Air Force One, receiving telephone briefings from Secretary of State John Kerry, and attending a teleconference with his national security staff from a room at the Trump Place Apartments, the Times reported.
Mr. Obama stayed at Camp David for the weekend and played golf Sunday at a Virginia military base. White House officials said there were no plans to cancel the president's three-day fundraising swing this week in Seattle and California, the Times reported.
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