President Obama Bails on Jimmy Kimmel to Deal With ‘More Serious’ International Issues (Video)

The decision is “related to the challenges of doing a comedy show in the midst of some of these other more serious matters that the President is dealing with,” the White House says

President Barack Obama planned to finally visit “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday, but the White House pulled the plug on his TV appearance at the last minute so the President could deal with “more serious” international matters.

Josh Earnest

“[The decision is] related to the challenges of doing a comedy show in the midst of some of these other more serious matters that the President is dealing with on the international scene,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday, while addressing the Press Corps.

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The more serious matters he's referring to are the downing of Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine and the drastic escalation of violence in Gaza — each of which has claimed hundreds of lives.

President Obama had tentatively planned to visit Kimmel's show while in Los Angeles — a stop on his West Coast fundraising trip (which also included Seattle and San Francisco.) The President's trip is geared toward drumming-up money for the Democratic candidates running in November's quickly approaching midterm elections.

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Earnest was asked whether the cancellation was due in part to image problems that might arise if a sitting President took time out of his schedule for a breezy chat with a TV comedian while tensions are so high across the globe. The Press Secretary wouldn't rule out that possibility.

President Obama has previously sat for interviews with Jay Leno and David Letterman, but this would have been his first TV interview with Kimmel.