In a story that will cause his critics to do a double-take, President Obama is going to prison next week — if only for a day.
Obama will visit El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma next Thursday, where he will meet with inmates and corrections officials, the White House announced.
The visit to the medium security facility is part of upcoming Vice special on America’s “broken criminal justice system” set to air in the fall on HBO — the president will take part in an interview while at the prison.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest was quick to note that the trip will be “the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to a federal prison.”
“The president will outline the unfairness in much of our criminal justice system, highlight bipartisan ideas for reform and lay out his ideas to make our country fairer, smarter and more cost effective while keeping the American people safe and secure,” Earnest told reporters.
Which means Americans can expect more racially divisive rhetoric from the nation’s top executive.
Being a committed bleeding-heart liberal, no such visit would be complete for Obama unless he could spring a few inmates, and that’s just what he plans to do.
“President Obama will use his clemency power to release dozens of inmates from federal custody this week,” Yahoo News reported, adding that the president could announce “40 or so commutations.”
Social media users couldn’t resist the temptation to weigh in when word got out that Obama will be in prison next week: “Picking out his cell?” one Twitter poster asked.
Here’s a sampling of the joking — and dreaming:
@cnnbrk on what charge?
— Dave (@dccrue) July 10, 2015
@cnnbrk visiting to sign up new democrat voters?
— Patrick (@PatrickScotBlog) July 10, 2015
@cnnbrk lol maybe he should stay there, since he has broken so many laws already
— Figarin (@Marcos30575) July 10, 2015
@cnnbrk going back to his roots I see
— Alex Lara (@PrestonPickles) July 10, 2015
@cnnbrk visiting family?
— Richard Brown (@KickinSales) July 10, 2015
@cnnbrk he’s finally turning himself in?
— Amber Skoros (@NYCdeb8tr) July 12, 2015
— Kathleen ❤ Freedom (@hillx123) July 10, 2015
@cnnbrk Is he going to visit Hillary?
— Highwayman (@PureMitten) July 10, 2015