President Obama on Friday called the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 an “outrage of unspeakable proportions,” declared it a “wake-up call” for timid European leaders, and all but laid blame for the tragedy directly at the doorstep of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Obama’s blunt language, delivered in the White House briefing room from behind a lectern with the presidential seal, offered a stark contrast to his muddled public handling of the disaster a day earlier.
As the news broke on Thursday, the White House signaled that the president had first learned about the world-shaking events from Putin at the tail end of a telephone call arranged at Moscow’s request. With grisly details coming in, Obama went ahead with a heavily partisan public schedule: A speech in Wilmington, Delaware, where he hit Republicans over infrastructure funding, followed by a brace of Democratic fundraisers in New York City.
Obama had begun his speech in Delaware with just seven sentences on the attack,Read More »from Obama hits reset button on wobbly public response to Malaysia Airlines shootdown