As Americans started traveling in droves for the Thanksgiving holiday, with terrorist threats and a worldwide travel alert as a background, the major broadcast news networks broke into regular programming Wednesday to carry a statement from President Obama following a closed-press meeting with his national security team in the Oval Office.
In a brief statement—about six minutes—the President outlined his approach to terrorism and assured his audience he was stepping up the pressure on ISIS and doing everything possible to prevent attacks at home as well as abroad.
According to a network spokesperson, they got a heads up from the White House that the President would be making a public statement after the private meeting, initially it appeared the heads up was for about 11:45, but the networks had to vamp and cut to commercials.
ABC even ended its special report briefly at noon to throw it back to local newscasts, before returning to cover the statement, which did not begin until after noon.
The President said that his meeting had been a regular update before the holiday season—rather than a special meeting prompted by any event. But he talked about the Paris terror attacks. He said it was understandable that Americans would wonder whether it could happen here. He said the U.S. was taking every step possible to keep them safe.
But he also said there was no specific and credible threat against "the homeland." As Americans travel, he said, law enforcement was working overtime to monitor threats and evaluate security.
He also said in the event there is a specific, credible threat, they would be informed, but otherwise go about their normal Thanksgiving activities.
"Happy Thanksgiving everybody," he said, then exited without taking questions.
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