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President Obama, Security Team Meet on Egypt

  • Kent Klein

President Barack Obama walks back to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, where he was scheduled to meet with members of his National Security team to discuss the events in Egypt, February 10, 2011

President Barack Obama, back in Washington after a short trip to the north central state of Michigan, met with advisers about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s refusal to step down.

President Obama met with his national security team after his helicopter landed at the White House.

Earlier Thursday, in Marquette, Michigan, Mr. Obama said the world is watching history take place as the Egyptian people demand change. And he said the United States will support efforts toward democracy in whatever way possible.

“And so, going forward, we want those young people and we want all Egyptians to know America will continue to do everything that we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy in Egypt,” he said.

Mr. Mubarak later infuriated the crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square by refusing to leave office while saying he was transferring powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Later, Egypt’s ambassador to the United States told CNN Mr. Suleiman is now the de facto president of Egypt, with all executive powers of the presidency.

Mr. Mubarak blamed foreign influences, in part, for fueling the anti-government protests.

President Obama watched the Egyptian leader’s speech while returning home on the presidential plane Air Force One, and received updates from his national security adviser, Tom Donilon, throughout the day.

Mr. Obama refused to answer questions shouted by reporters after his helicopter landed on the south lawn.