Yes, from the back of his wife’s boat…
President Barack Obama met with his top national security advisers yesterday at the White House to discuss the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, with the fate of U.S. aid hanging in the balance.
The Situation Room meeting of Obama and members of his National Security Council came as U.S. officials weigh how to respond to the Egyptian military’s overhaul of their elected government. The White House and most leaders in Congress have so far avoided using the word “coup,” a definition that could cost Egypt more than $1.5 billion in annual military and humanitarian aid under U.S. law.
Administration officials including Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel placed calls to counterparts in Egypt to stress the “importance of a quick and responsible return of full authority to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in an e-mailed statement.
U.S. officials told Egyptian leaders they needed to have a “transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups,” according to Meehan. Administration officials said Mursi and his supporters shouldn’t be arbitrarily arrested, according to Meehan’s statement.
Kerry spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, while Hagel called Defense Minister Abdelfatah al-Seesi, who announced July 3 that Mursi had been removed from power.