President Barack Obama spoke privately Friday afternoon with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, seeing the Democratic Congresswoman for the first time since she was shot in Tucson, Ariz.
The White House did not release any specific details about what was discussed during the visit at NASA, which lasted about 10 minutes. But an administration official told reporters First Lady Michelle Obama also was in the room, along with incoming Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a longtime Giffords friend. Also present for the meeting were Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, and the Congresswoman’s mother and brother-in-law.
Obama and his family were visiting Cape Canaveral to attend the launch of the shuttle Endeavour, which was delayed due to a mechanical concern. The next possible launch day would be Monday.
An administration official said Obama spoke with the Arizona Representative before meeting the full shuttle crew.
Before going into the room, the president chatted with Kelly in the hallway, getting an update on Giffords’ condition.
“I bet you were hoping to see a rocket launch today,” Kelly told Obama.
“We were hoping to see you,” the president replied, before the men shook hands and embraced.
The Associated Press reported that Giffords had planned to watch the launch from a private viewing area with astronauts’ family members. Her staff declined to give any details about her recovery routine while in Florida.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.