Facing dueling foreign policy crises abroad, President Barack Obama is fending off criticism at home as he heads to the West Coast for a three-day fundraising swing for Democratic candidates.
At events in Seattle, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, the president will mingle with Hollywood stars and technology moguls. The political events, scheduled weeks ago, come as Obama works to contain a growing conflict in Gaza and the fallout from a crash of a Malaysian passenger jet in Ukraine.
White House officials defended Obama’s decision to stick with his schedule, saying the president travels with a mobile White House that allows him to do his job from the road.
“If it becomes clear that there’s a need for him to come back to the White House, in order to fulfill those functions, then we’ll make a change in his schedule,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters today. “Right now, it’s not apparent that that’s the case.”
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