In a bizarre maneuver, President Obama’s short flight on Marine One to Camp David Friday afternoon was reportedly diverted due to what White House press secretary Jay Carney tells ABC News was a “bad weather call.”
The odd part is that, according to Accuweather.com, there was no precipitation across the entire region, including Camp David.
Light winds blew from the southeast at 10mph with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-70′s.
ABC reports that the flight was diverted to an undisclosed landing near Frederick, Maryland and a motorcade drove Obama to nearby Camp David.
Carney claims the weather call was made before Obama and his younger daughter Sasha boarded the aircraft.
Carney says they have now arrived safely at Camp David. It remains unexplained why the President would be allowed to board Marine One knowing that the landing site on the mountain was experiencing weather making a landing difficult.
The press first learned of the diversion when wire agency still photographers, who traditionally stand by at Camp David for news coverage in case of an emergency, were told by the military at the mountain top Marine base that the President would be motorcading.
The White House press office did not inform the daily travel pool which remains at the White House and does not make the helicopter trip to Camp David. The pool would normally accompany any bad weather motorcade to the retreat.
But CBS News reporter Mark Knoller has a somewhat different account:
White House spokesman Josh Earnest would tell reporters later that "a bad weather call" had been made about 20 minutes before the president and his daughter took off from the South Lawn of the White House.
It had been decided that Marine One could safely fly the president to Frederick, and the Secret Service had motorcade vehicles ready there to drive him the rest of the way.
Interestingly, Earnest said Mr. Obama had not been informed of the plan until he was aboard Marine One.
The arrangement spared Mr. Obama a drive out of Washington in pre-holiday traffic as the nation's capital began emptying out for the end-of-summer Labor Day Weekend.
Even with a police escort, the ride can take two hours or longer.
Flying to Frederick spared him and Sasha about 90 minutes on the road.
What then, could be the real reason behind the flight's diversion?