“I offer my prayers for those who grieve," Obama said. "A speedy recovery for the many who were injured as they work to recover. And we will cooperate, obviously, at every level of government to make sure that we get answers in terms of precisely what happened.”
He also made a call for maintaining a commitment to spending on infrastructure improvements around the country, given congressional negotiations on transportation funding happening back in Washington.
While the president issued a written statement on Tuesday after the crash, he passed up two prior opportunities to comment on it on camera -- first during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with a Saudi delegation Wednesday, then during a joint statement with the Qatari emir -- before he finally did so.
“I wanted to say something important ... on behalf of all Gulf countries," he said. "We want to send our deepest condolences to the president and the American people on the tragic train accident in Philadelphia.”