Obama Meets With King Abdullah II Of Jordan, Talks Drought In Fresno
RANCHO MIRAGE (CBSLA.com) — President Barack Obama took a rare opportunity to relax and play golf Saturday in a sprawling estate right outside Palm Springs after spending Friday in meetings with California leaders on drought and with Jordan’s King to discuss issues concerning the Middle East.
Obama is spending the weekend on Sunnylands estate’s nine-hole course, which have been played by presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to the elder George Bush.
The White House Press Office announced at about 9:15 a.m. Saturday that the President had no plans to leave the estate for the rest of the day.
The President was reportedly enjoying a round on the nine-hole links with friends Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme and Michael Ramos.
Obama was also expected to binge-watch the HBO dramas “True Detective” and “Game of Thrones” while at the estate in Rancho Mirage, according to The New York Times.
The President approached HBO’s chief executive Richard Plepler at Tuesday’s state dinner for French President Francois Hollande, asking him “Where is my `True Detective’ and `Game of Thrones’?” The Times reported.
Obama waved over an aide to make certain Plepler knew where to send the DVDs to ensure they would make it through White House security, according to The Times.
The President is expected to return to Washington, D.C., Sunday.
Air Force One arrived at Palm Springs at 6:58 p.m. Friday from Fresno, where Obama spoke at a roundtable with community leaders in California, which is in the midst of its worst drought in more than 100 years. The President announced more than $160 million in federal financial aid to the state and outlined his plan for federal assistance to farmers.
The President later visited a farm and participated in a discussion with farmers and others affected by the statewide drought.
When Obama arrived to Sunnylands that night, he met with King Abdullah II of Jordan. The leaders touched on the challenges Jordan is facing due to Syria’s civil war.
Obama praised Abdullah for moving forward with reforms that meet the International Monetary Fund program.
Abdullah praised Obama for “the outstanding support that you’ve shown Jordan.”
Following that, Obama and Abdullah met over dinner to discuss “virtually every regional issue you could envision,” including developments in Egypt, Iraq and Iran, according to a senior
administration official, who described the dinner as “very constructive and cordial.”
Obama said Friday the U.S. will seek to provide Jordan a $1 billion loan guarantee and extend its memorandum of understanding with Jordan for five years — dependent on congressional approval — “that allows that country to pursue the kind of development that will not only help the people of Jordan, but help the region as a whole.”
Outside Sunnylands, a small group of protesters gathered near a barricade at Bob Hope and Gerald Ford drives Friday afternoon to call for the passage of immigration legislation and a halt to deportations.
Members of Comite Latino held a large U.S. flag and waved signs. One person wore a large Obama head.
“The Border Patrol in the valley are persecuting immigrants in the Coachella Valley and people are afraid, and we came to speak for them,” said Mario Lazcano, a Coachella resident and member of Comite Latino.
The group’s largest sign read “Obama, please don’t separate me from my parents.”
Several motorists in passing cars honked in support.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who met with Obama while he was in Fresno, stopped by Sunnylands Friday and met with Abdullah to discuss “drought, the efficient use of water and renewable energy,” according to the governor’s office.
RELATED STORY: President Obama Announces More Than $160M In Federal Aid For California Drought
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