By Justin Sink - 08/17/13 07:12 PM EDT
“While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back,” Obama said.
“As a result, this morning, we notified the Egyptian government that we are canceling our biannual joint military exercise, which was scheduled for next month.”
The violence has created a difficult diplomatic conundrum for the Obama administration, with critics calling on the president to declare Morsi's ouster a coup. Doing so would result in the immediate revocation of aid, an important tool in maintaining American influence in Egypt and across the region. But in continuing to fund the regime, the White House risks aiding military leaders who are violently cracking down on Egyptians demonstrating on behalf of a democratically elected president.
“Going forward, I've asked my national security team to assess the implications of the actions taken by the interim government and further steps that we may take as necessary with respect to the U.S.-Egyptian relationship” Obama said Thursday.
After his national security briefing, Obama and his family headed to a private beach on the south side of Martha's Vineyard, where he's vacationing. After that, Obama hit the links for the fifth time during his vacation, joined by "Curb Your Enthusiasim" star Larry David, former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and private equity manager Glenn Hutchins.