“It was so moving for Michelle and myself in part because it was so representative of the country”, the president told reporters after the meetings.
The carnage at a social services center was carried out by US-born Syed Farook and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik.
Speaking at Indian Springs High School, Obama added that despite what they were going through, the families “could not have been more inspiring, and more proud of their loved ones, and more insistent that something good comes out of this tragedy”.
“As hard as this is for them and the entire (country), they also represent the strength and the unity and the love that exists in this community”, Obama said. The pair met with San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis and San Bernardino County Supervisor Chairman James Ramos on the tarmac shortly after.
He stopped off in California on the way to his Christmas holiday in Hawaii, and spent several hours with them. Both were killed in a shootout with police.
The subsequent investigation has revealed that Farook, a USA citizen, and Malik, who entered the US on a so-called fiancee visa, had been plotting an attack for months.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County Friday following the December 2 attack there that killed 14 people.
Obama has tried to allay those concerns with a rare Oval Office address, days after the San Bernardino attack, on the administration’s strategy to counter the threat from IS, as well as through public appearances this week with members of his national security team following separate briefings he received on the Islamic State and potential threats to the homeland. Air Force One landed at San Bernardino International Airport at 7:34 p.m., where the president and first lady soon descended the plane’s stairs.
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