As news reports of a gun massacre in Munich crossed the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, the President of the United States was cracking jokes.
UPDATE: One of the Munich gunman has been identified as an 18-year old Iranian living in Germany for the past two years. Witnesses said that the gunman screamed ‘I’m German’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ before shooting at children. source
Barack Obama delivered a brief update to reporters at the White House about the still-unfolding shooting rampage that left the German city on lockdown. Eight are confirmed dead, and 10 injured. The president was speaking to law enforcement agents at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House.
But as cameras rolled on the somber moment, Obama grinned and chuckled – and drew laughs from his audience – about his elder daughter Malia leaving the nest and heading for college.
‘Some of you are aware there were shootings in Germany. And we don’t yet know exactly what’s happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured,’ the president said.
Barack Obama Cracks a Joke While Talking About Munich Terrorist Attack:
‘It’s still an active situation and Germany’s one of our closest allies. So we are going to pledge all the support they may need in dealing with these circumstances.’ After a pause, he reflected on the impact of the potentially terror-related attacks, and others like it, on Americans.
‘It’s a good reminder of something that I’ve said over the last couple of weeks,’ Obama said, launching into a list of ordinary daily-life activities that are threatened in the absence of good police and intelligence work.
‘Our way of life, our freedoms,’ he said, ‘our ability to go about our business every day, raising our kids’ – and suddenly the president’s mood shifted.
‘And seeing them grow up and graduate from high school, and now about to leave their dad,’ he continued, waving his hand and breaking the tension as the room erupted in laughter. ‘I’m sorry. I’m getting a little too personal. Getting a little too personal there,’ he said.
Obama then returned to the gravity he had discarded just moments before.
‘That depends on law enforcement,’ he said. ‘It depends on the men and woman in uniform every single day, who are under some of the most adverse circumstances imaginable at times, making sure to keep us safe.’
There’s nothing funny about this, Obama:
Friday morning, about one hour before the Munich gunman opened fire on a street outside a McDonald’s restaurant, Obama said in a joint press conference with Mexico’s president that Republican nominee Donald Trump has overreacted by drawing attention to crime and terrorism in his campaign rhetoric.
‘This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn’t really jibe with the experience of most people,’ Obama said alongside President Enrique Pena Nieto.
‘I think it is important to be absolutely clear here,’ he added, unaware of the bloodshed about to begin an ocean away. ‘Some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week just don’t jibe with the facts.’
The area around the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre has been sealed off. An electrical shop nearby is being used as a makeshift hospital to treat the casualties. It was reported that at least one gunman fled into the city’s underground mass transport system, which has now been shut down.
Germany’s passenger rail authority also confirmed that Munich’s main train station has been evacuated.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Friday in a statement that ‘our prayers are with all those affected by the horrible attacks in Munich. This cannot continue.’ ‘The rise of terrorism threatens the way of life for all civilized people, and we must do everything in our power to keep it from our shores.’ source