Barack Obama

More than a week after record-breaking rain inundated 20 parishes in southeastern Louisiana, President Obama arrived Tuesday to survey the damage.

The president toured a neighborhood in East Baton Rouge Parish ravaged in the widespread flooding that has claimed more than a dozen lives and damaged some 60,000 homes. Afterward, he thanked first responders, the National Guard and "all the good neighbors" who rescued people as the water rose.

President Obama dismissed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's comment this week that the election may be "rigged" this year.

President Obama has commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates — "almost all" of whom were serving sentences for nonviolent crimes. According to the White House, it's the "most grants in a single day since at least 1900."

President Obama reiterated that he believes Donald Trump is "unfit" to be president, issuing a sharp rebuke of the Republican nominee from the White House East Room on Tuesday.

"Yes, I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president," Obama said in response to a question from a reporter during a news conference with Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore. "I said so last week, and he keeps on proving it."

In an open letter to the nation's law enforcement officers, President Obama mourns the recent killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., thanks officers for their service in the face of danger and calls for national unity.

The letter, dated Monday, is addressed to "the brave members of our Nation's law enforcement community." In it, Obama says he met with the families of the officers killed in Dallas, and called and spoke with the families of those killed in Baton Rouge.

"Each fallen officer is one too many," the president writes.

Flanked by his secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Obama announced that he was once again slowing the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

By the time President Obama leaves office, 8,400 American troops will remain in the country. Obama said this was "the right thing to do."

"It is in our national security interest ... that we give our Afghan partners the very best opportunity to succeed," Obama said.

No president has campaigned strongly for his chosen successor in at least 100 years.

Tuesday's event, with President Obama campaigning for Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and onetime rival, in North Carolina is remarkable for that reason. It kicks off what is likely to be a season of vigorous campaigning by the president.

President Obama spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Steve Inskeep: You've been told, I think, that we are doing a documentary. We went across a good part of the country to places where you have given speeches over the years to just talk with people about how their lives have changed.

Donald Trump may have clinched the GOP nomination and commands attention with his unorthodox presidential campaign, but President Obama says Trump's record low favorability ratings show he hasn't won over the hearts and minds of the country just yet.

"If there was ever a moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs that everybody counts and everybody has dignity, now's the time," President Obama said in remarks during a visit to Orlando, Fla., to express his support for the victims of Sunday's deadly attack and their families.

As NPR's Scott Horsley tells our Newscast unit, "The president hopes his presence in Orlando will provide some support to the families of the 49 people who died in Sunday's massacre, as well as the dozens of people who are still recovering from the wounds they suffered."

President Obama came into office with a dream of a world without nuclear weapons, and he's sure to touch on this theme Friday when he becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, site of the world's first atomic bombing.

Yet Obama also has put the U.S. on course to spend around $1 trillion on upgrading its nuclear arsenal over the next three decades, critics say.

Everything about nuclear weapons is extreme: the implications of their use, the costs involved, and the strategic and political paradoxes they create.

President Obama will visit Hiroshima later this month, while he's in Japan for the G-7 summit, the White House has confirmed.

The trip will mark the first visit by a U.S. president to the site since American forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

"I will not rest, and I'm going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink, and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in," President Obama told an energetic audience in Flint, Mich. "Because that's part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United States of America."

Any doubt that Senate Republicans would hold the line behind their leader's decision to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee has been erased.

"I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that the nomination should be made by the president the people elect in the election that's underway right now," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

President Obama said Tuesday that despite Republican vows to block him, he will nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on Saturday.

Obama spoke during a news conference after a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rancho Mirage, Calif., but the first questions from reporters were about filling the empty Supreme Court seat.

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