From: Lee, Carol
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2016 7:18 PM
To: Goodman, Meghan K. EOP/OVP
Subject: VPOTUS pool report #3
Vice President Biden left the Conrad at 4:30pm and arrived shortly after at the Blue Mosque.
Pool preset in the courtyard outside the entrance. Mr. Biden, Dr. Biden, their granddaughter Naomi and their son-in-law Howard Krein stepped into the courtyard around 4:50pm. It was cold and wet from snow earlier. Pool then rushed to get inside the mosque to preset for them to enter.
When Mr. Biden walked in he was joined by Imam Ishak Kizilaslan and Mufti Irfan Ustundag (names per VP's office) who were the guides for him and his family. Pool could hear Mr. Biden saying to them that it was good to be back and he had been bragging about the mosque to his family.
The mosque was basically empty, besides for VPOTUS staff, Secret Service and press. VPOTUS, Dr. Biden and Naomi Biden walked into the prayer area while their guides told them about the mosque. They were still in there when pool left to preset for their departure.
Mr. Biden was holding a red, long-stemmed carnation when he left, as were Dr. Biden, Naomi Biden and Howard Krein. He joked "and the vice president slides down the stairs" as he walked down the mosque's slick marble stairs.
Mr. Biden and his family then walked over to the site in Sultanahmet Square where a suicide bomber killed 10 German tourists on January 12. VPOTUS appeared to say a prayer as he stood at the site of the bombing, then set his carnation on the ground beneath what looked like a plastic vase holding purple and white flowers and red carnations. His family then set their carnations on the ground. They stood there for a moment.
VPOTUS walked over to his motorcade and for a couple minutes it was unclear what was going on as pool held. Turns out he'd decided he wanted to go shopping. More on that in next poolreport.
Some background from VP's office on the mosque:
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Turkish: Sultan Ahmet Camii) is a historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Its K?lliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque.
The Wall Street Journal