The White House announced that Obama met with Art and Shirley Sotloff during his trip to Miami. The Sotloffs live in Florida, so the White House says it was “an appropriate occasion for the president to visit with them.”
Video appeared online last September depicting Sotloff’s murder. He was the second American journalist beheaded by ISIS.
“The President expressed his and the First Lady’s condolences for Steven’s death,” Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council Spokesperson, wrote in a statement. “He appreciated the chance to hear from the Sotloffs more about Steven’s work as a journalist, including his passion for bringing the stories of people who are suffering to the rest of the world in the hope of making a positive difference, including in Syria.”
Meehan added that Obama also discussed the Sotloff family’s “2Lives: Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation,” which was created to provide support and assistance to journalists reporting from conflict torn areas of the world.
Days before Sotloff’s killing, Shirley Sotloff issued a videotaped plea asking ISIS to spare her son.
Stung by harsh criticism from relatives of American hostages killed by terrorists, the White House has been reviewing its hostage policy since last November.
The review is “nearing completion,” according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, but the White House is not expected to change its policy against paying ransoms.
“We have made clear that our policy about not paying ransom to hostage takers, to terrorists -- not making concessions to them -- is a policy that's not going to change, is not part of the ongoing policy review,” Earnest said May 19.
The White House expected to create a government office to coordinate incident response, which will likely include a "Family Engagement Team," a senior U.S. official told ABC News last April.
The likely White House move is in anticipation of recommendations from a hostage police review team from the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center expected to be delivered soon to President Obama.
ABC News’ Lee Ferran contributed to this report