Nightly News   |  August 11, 2013

US foreign policy debate heats up during Obama’s vacation

America’s relationship with Russia continues to take center-stage as President Barack Obama vacations in Massachusetts. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>> another tense situation. u.s. relations with russia . today president obama encountered new criticism on how he's handling that relationship. kristin welker with the vacationing president on martha's vineyard.

>> reporter: president obama on the golf course during his first full day of vacation with cameras capturing a moment of frustration. a back in washington his foreign policy frustrations played out on the talk shows. the say he's too soft on russia and accused nsa leaker snowden .

>> mr. snowden 's being granted asylum in russia is a signal of incredibly bad relations between the united states and russia .

>> reporter: senator john mccain argued that the president underestimated the russian counterpart.

>> and i know they like to focus on boat language, he's got the slouch in the back of the classroom.

>> the president comparing him to the kid in the back of the classroom, i think it very indicative of his lack of appreciation of who splad mir putin is.

>> and a new --

>> finally came out last friday trying to come up with ways to salvage the program by window dressing.

>> i applaud the president for bringing us there and talking about how do we educate the public that we need this program.

>> all this as snowden 's father says he now has the papers to visit his son in russia who he continues to defend.

>> what i would say is that my son has spoken the truth.

>> reporter: now he also said today that he plans to take an attorney to russia with him to help his son fight the charges that he is facing in the united states . but he has not yet said when he planned to earthquake that trip.

>> kristin welker with the president on martha's vineyard.