Obama Enjoys Late Night Outings on Vineyard Vacation Amid Floods, Police Protests

August 16, 2016

While communities in southern Louisiana struggle to recover from devastating floods that have killed at least nine people and violent unrest between protesters and police begins to settle in Milwaukee, President Obama is celebrating his second week of vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

Obama, who is on his final summer retreat to the Massachusetts island as president, has spent almost every night out on the town for unusually late hours, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

On Sunday, as protesters hurled rocks at Milwaukee police officers to protest the shooting of an armed black man, Obama gathered his security and press entourage to go out at nearly 11 p.m. for an "unspecified ‘social event.’" He returned home just before 1 a.m. Monday and played a round of golf later that day, his seventh of his trip since arriving on Aug. 6. Obama was on the golf course for five hours earlier in the day on Sunday.

Despite taking a brief break from his vacation to attend a Hillary Clinton fundraiser on Monday, Obama has yet to comment on the Louisiana flooding and the ongoing unrest in Milwaukee. He did upgrade the emergency declaration for Louisiana to a major disaster declaration, authorizing federal authorities to respond with aid.

"Although Michelle is very strict about me actually taking a vacation when I get a vacation, she gave me a special dispensation for this evening because she understands, just as all of you understand, how important this is," Obama said in Chilmark of Clinton’s presidential campaign at the fundraiser.

Riots began in Milwaukee on Saturday after a black police officer shot a black man who attempted to run away from officers during a traffic stop while wielding a handgun. Fourteen people were arrested Sunday after protesters lit six businesses on fire, including a gas station, torched squad cars, and heaved rocks at officers, wounding at least seven deputies.

Southern Louisiana endured historic flooding over the weekend, leaving more than 20,000 stranded and another 11,000 in search of shelter. The Red Cross said the flooding is the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast in 2012. The region faced ongoing flood warnings Tuesday.