President Obama headed to a golf course moments after receiving reports that a truck had plowed through a Christmas market in Berlin in a potential terrorist attack, according to White House pool reports.
Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii for the holidays, was also briefed by his national security team on the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey just before departing for the Mid-Pacific Country Club.
White House press liaison Eric Schultz wrote in a memo that Obama left his rental vacation home at 10:21 a.m. HST, or 3:21 p.m. EST, after a press van held at the house for 11 minutes awaiting the president.
Nine people were killed and at least 50 others were injured in the Berlin truck attack. Police believe the incident was deliberate.
Russia, meanwhile, declared the killing of Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara an “act of terrorism.”
The president has faced scrutiny for his decisions to golf during crises.
In August, the former FEMA Director Michael Brown, who oversaw the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, condemned Obama for continuing to golf during his two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard while historic floods were devastating parts of Louisiana.