Sasha and Malia join the Obamas on Martha’s Vineyard

President Obama addressed the assembled press pool about the escalating situation in Egypt from his vacation home in Chilmark.
Photo by Barry Stringfellow

President Obama addressed the assembled press pool about the escalating situation in Egypt from his vacation home in Chilmark.

Updated 3:20 pm Thursday, August 15, 2013

This afternoon, The White House issued a short statement saying President and Michelle Obama’s two children, Sasha and Malia, arrived on Martha’s Vineyard today to spend the rest of the week with their parents vacationing on the Island.

The White House closely guards the privacy of the two children, and did not release any information about where they spent the first part of the week.

World affairs intruded on the president’s down time this morning.

At about 10:30 am Thursday, from his Chilmark vacation home, President Obama addressed the assembled White House and local press pool about the escalating unrest in Egypt, where security forces have stormed protestors, killing more than 500 people according to news reports.

According to pool reports, the President said he had just finished a discussion with the United States National Security Council team and that he has asked advisors to “assess implications” of Egypt’s interim government’s actions and will consider “further steps.”

“The Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the last several days,” the President said. “The cycle of violence and escalation needs to stop.

“We appreciate the complexity of the situation,” he continued. “While Mohamed Morsi was elected president in a democratic election his government was not inclusive and did not respect the views of all Egyptians.”

The President, tieless and dressed in a blue jacket and khaki pants, said that our “traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual,” but did not answer questions from the pool about whether that meant the U.S. would cut off aid.

The statement provided pool reporters with their first look at the Obama vacation home, which is owned by David Schulte.

The President spoke from a podium in front of a swimming pool, a small vegetable garden, and flowers and fruit trees in bloom. The home is modern, low, and light gray.

Shortly after the statement, the president traveled by motorcade to Vineyard Haven, where he played a quick nine holes at Mink Meadows Golf Course. The foursome included Marvin Nicholson, White House trip director; Sam Kass, senior policy advisor on nutrition; and Mike Brush, a White House staffer.

The president left the course at about 1:30 pm, and returned to the first family’s vacation home in Chilmark, just before 2 pm.

The White House sent pool reporters home unusually early, indicating the Obama family will not venture outside their compound again today.