President Obama ditched the small group of reporters that accompanied him on a golf outing Saturday at Andrews Air Force Base.
Mr. Obama arrived at Andrews in suburban Maryland at 1:08 p.m. to play golf with a foursome that included Marvin Nicholson, the White House trip director, and two other men. That was the last time the press traveling with the president saw him.
Normally, when the president completes his round of golf, reporters in the “pool” traveling with him accompany Mr. Obama’s motorcade back to the White House. But on Saturday, the pool reporters were notified at 5:45 p.m. that the president had already departed the base without them, supposedly 10 minutes earlier.
George Condon, a reporter with National Journal, wrote in his pool report: “In a breach of longstanding policy, the motorcade departed without hooking up with the press vans even though the vans had been loaded and waiting for more than half an hour.”
“The pool does not know first hand when the president left the base, what route he took, or when he arrived at the White House.
We were told that he arrived at 5:58 [p.m.] and went to the residence,” Mr. Condon reported.
The reporter added, “Your pooler, no doubt invigorated by his inability to tell you anything for certain, registered a protest at this breach and would assume there would be a more formal followup discussion.”
The press pool system is designed, in part, to provide a daily record of a president’s appearances and travels in public.