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Obama retreats to golf course after statement on ISIS, Foley beheading

Obama at presser.
Obama at presser.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Wednesday, President Obama took a break from his vacation to give a quick statement on the beheading of photojournalist James Foley. He immediately retreated to a golf course on Matha's Vineyard, Buzzfeed said.

“The president walked quietly into the cafeteria of the school, tieless but wearing a blue jacket,” the White House press pool reported. "Eric Schultz accompanied him. Obama stepped to a podium and delivered his remarks, then turned quietly and walked out of the room. The room was silent as he did."

According to the pool report, former NBA star Alonzo Mourning‎, Glenn Hutchins, and Cy Walker‎ joined Obama on the golf course. The rapid retreat to golfing sparked a great deal of criticism on Twitter, Twitchy said.

"Legitimate question: how does one switch gears so quickly from talking to a nation about a beheading to golfing?" one person asked. Others also wondered how Obama could transition from a statement on ISIS and its most recent atrocity to golfing in just under 20 minutes.

"Apparently," Jim Geraghty said, "Obama will hunt down ISIS' caddy sleeper agents personally." One person suggested Obama is "picking up where OJ Simpson left off."

On Tuesday, ISIS released a video showing Foley's beheading. The video was pulled for violating YouTube's terms of service. The White House has since confirmed the authenticity of the video.

In his remarks, Obama called Foley's murder "an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world.” He also vowed the U.S. would be relentless in destroying those who murdered Foley and said the Islamic State, as it is currently known, will not survive.

"They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands,” the president said. “They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can’t, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.”

As we have reported, ISIS terrorists have beheaded children in Mosul and buried women and children alive. According to the Anglican Communion News Service, a five-year-old boy was cut in two, and a woman was torn apart after being tied to two vehicles. Another report claimed that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi allegedly gave his followers permission to eat babies. That report, however, has not been confirmed.