Napolitano: Obama didn’t snub Putin by skipping Olympics

February 9, 2014

Former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano said President Obama didn't snub Russian President Vladimir Putin by declining to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"I think he sent a delegation that represents the broad values of the United States. We're here to support our team, we're here to represent our country and we're proud to be here," Napolitano said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Napolitano is leading the U.S. Olympic delegation in Sochi. For the first time since the Summer Games in Sydney, Australia in 2000 ,the U.S. delegation does not include a president, first lady or vice president.

Officials have said Obama is not attending the Olympics because of his schedule. But the decision came amid escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, leading to questions about whether relations between the two countries influenced the president's decision.

Napolitano said her general impression is that Sochi was prepared for the Olympics. The city has come under criticism for incomplete accommodations and other delays.

"We have been received well. We have a nice hotel. Our accommodations are just fine," Napolitano said.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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