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Suspect package delays Obama return to White House from New York

President Barack Obama speaks about foreign policy and escalating sanctions against Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine in the at the White House. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Friday, July 18, 2014
President Barack Obama is back at the White House after his return from a visit to New York City was delayed by the discovery of a suspicious package.

Obama traveled to New York City Thursday for two campaign fundraising events during a national transportation tour. One event was for the Democratic Party and another was for the House Majority PAC, which tries to help Democrats win House seats. They were held at separate private homes in Manhattan and were closed to media coverage.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama was held aboard Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base Thursday night when he returned until the package at the White House was determined to be of no threat to the president.

Air Force One landed just after 10 p.m. EDT but Obama remained on board for more than a half-hour. Obama arrived back at the White House just after 11 p.m. Meanwhile, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who flew back from New York City with the president after they attended a political event, got off and departed the base.

He traveled from Delaware to New York Thursday afternoon. Obama spent about five hours in the city, arriving at Kennedy airport at 4 p.m., then headed to the fundraisers. With federal transportation funding about to run dry, Obama is also in the process of boosting the flow of private dollars into public works projects.

Using the recently closed Interstate 495 bridge at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware as a backdrop, Obama signed paperwork Thursday creating an initiative to boost private-sector investment in the country's aging system of highways, bridges, transit systems and other infrastructure.
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