After his opening remarks on the border and immigration, the President today took a few questions from the press about the growing crisis. As should be expected, the first question was about why the President opted not to visit the border despite massive pressure from all sides. He said:
Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times. He’s going for a sixth this week. He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place. So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on. This isn’t theater. This is a problem. I’m not interested in photo ops, I’m interested in solving a problem.
The President at no point addressed the legitimate concern and desire of those “intimately” involved with the crisis to have the weight of the office and the presence of the Commander in Chief brought to bear on their behalf. Neither the enforcement officials, nor the people caring for and housing the children and families, nor the immigrants themselves will see the President of the United States show up in person, nor receive his personal support or attention. He reiterated that he has sent other people to the border, and that that should be good enough.
The President claims he is not interested in photo ops.
If only the people “intimately” involved at the border were selfie-worthy, maybe they would have warranted a visit.