Tag: Barack Obama

Obama Bracket 2017: Obama Releases NCAA Bracket Picks

Fans of ESPN’s “Barack-otology” will be glad to know Barack Obama released his bracket picks on his foundation’s website just days before the start of March Madness. While there is no ESPN segment breaking down the picks, Obama released full brackets for both the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments.

What were Obama’s Final Four picks? Duke, Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina make up Obama’s 2017 picks. The former president has an all Carolina championship matchup with North Carolina defeating rival Duke to win the title.

On the women’s side, Obama picked UConn, Washington, Notre Dame and South Carolina. Obama has UConn defeating Notre Dame for another national championship.

With the release of the brackets, the Obama Foundation wrote about the importance of sport and shared a quote they had received.

We heard from many of you that your experiences playing sports have helped you develop confidence, an appreciation for hard work, and a positive outlook despite the ups and downs of life. We think Solomon A., from St. Louis, said it best:

‘When I think about citizenship, I think about sportsmanship. The game, whether on the field of play or in real-life, is more productive and more enjoyable when everyone has the opportunity to play, grow and succeed. A good sport, along with a good citizen, knows the main objective has nothing to do with the day’s score, but the willingness of people to continue playing no matter the outcome of a single contest.’

In keeping with tradition, Obama went chalk picking the favorites with one exception. The former president likes 14 seeded Bucknell to defeat No. 3 West Virginia. He also likes Notre Dame to defeat Gonzaga to advance to the Elite 8.

Last season, Obama picked Kansas, Texas A&M, North Carolina and Michigan State in his final four with Kansas winning the tournament. He correctly picked one (North Carolina) of four teams but did accurately pick UNC to make the title game.

Donald Trump declined to participate in the ESPN segment this year. Obama’s love of basketball has been well documented. In addition to filling out his bracket, Obama also frequently played pick-up games at the White House and attended several NBA games.

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WATCH: James Comey Says No Evidence of Obama Wiretapping Trump Tower

FBI Director James “Jim” Comey said at a hearing in front of the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that there is “no information” showing that former President Barack Obama wiretapped President Donald Trump during the election cycle.

Watch the video above to hear Comey publicly comment on the matter for the first time.

Comey was questioned on the situation after Trump said on Twitter in early March that Obama had taken part in wiretapping his lines at Trump Tower during the presidential election.

As recently as March 17, Trump stuck to the accusations that Obama was secretly listening in on conversations.

The March 20 hearing on Capitol Hill put Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers in front of committee members to answer questions about the Russia probe. It opened with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California) — the committee’s chairman — saying that the group itself has found that there was no “physical wiretap of Trump Tower.” He asked that Comey and Rogers reveal if there was improper surveillance of Trump’s campaign officials and also stressed the importance of finding out who leaked classified information to media members.

Numerous current and former officials have leaked purportedly classified information in connection to these questions. We aim to determine who has leaked or facilitated leaks of classified information so that these individuals can be brought to justice.

Later in the hearing and during Comey’s opening statement, he confirmed that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to the Russian government.

“The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” he said.

Comey added that it’s not normal that the FBI confirms or denies such investigations, but the circumstances surrounding this specific one were of public interest.

The White House issued a statement via email shortly after Comey’s statement saying that as it stands, there is still “no evidence” of Russia’s ties to Trump’s campaign.

Nothing has changed. Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump-Russia collusion and there is NO EVIDENCE of a Trump-Russia scandal.

To watch a full replay of the hearing, click below:

WATCH: FBI’s James Comey Testifies on Russian Interference [FULL VIDEO REPLAY]

FBI Director James Comey testified to the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 about Russia’s role in Donald Trump’s campaign. Watch the full video replay.

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Rob Franklin: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Malia Obama may have a new love interest in her life.

The 18-year-old former First Daughter was recently spotted in New York City with a tall man in a trendy coat at her side, leading to reports that the two are dating.

The fashionable man has since been identified by TMZ as Rob Franklin, a 23-year old Stanford University graduate. The two apparently met at a fashion event in NYC during Men’s Fashion Week and have been hanging out here and there ever since.

Click here for more photos of Franklin and Obama in NYC.

Friends say that Obama and Franklin’s relationship is “strictly platonic,” Daily Mail reported.

Malia is the eldest daughter of the Obamas and is currently interning at Weinstein film company.

In November 2016, Barack said that Sash and Malia had already started dating, joking that he was “relaxed” about it since they will always be closely watched. He added that his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, is a great role model for the girls.

Franklin has held many jobs in his young career in NYC and in California.

Here’s what you need to know about him:


1. Franklin Graduated From Stanford University & Specialized In Art

Rob Franklin (Facebook)

According to his Facebook page, Franklin was born in Atlanta, Georgia on April 3, 1993. He now lives in NYC, but studied and earned a degree from Stanford in 2015.

At the school, Franklin was a frequent fixture of the arts program. He acted in roles various plays and musicals at Stanford, including “Spring Awakening” in 2013.

Franklin is listed in the cast for the musical and had a lead role.

In addition, Franklin wrote articles for The Stanford Daily. One of those articles included one in 2012 about research given to tobacco advertisements.

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2. He’s an ‘Audience Development Manager’ at Artsy.net

Rob Franklin (LinkedIn)

According to his LinkedIn page, Franklin currently works as an audience development manager for the website Artsy.net.

The “About Me” page on its website says that it “features the world’s leading galleries, museum collections, foundations, artist estates, art fairs, and benefit auctions, all in one place.”

Artsy has a huge database consisting over over 500,000 artistic images by over 50,000 artists. It builds its gigantic database by partnering with numerous galleries and institutions around the world.

Franklin has worked at Artsy for three months so far.

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3. Franklin Previously Worked As a Tutor, Consultant & Intern

Rob Franklin (Facebook)

Franklin’s LinkedIn page shows that he’s got a lot of experience in his short career.

In 2012, he worked as a summer teacher for The Partnership for After School Education in NYC while attending Stanford.

He also had a number of internships, including working as a Washington desk intern for National Public Radio in D.C and then interning for the editorial department at BuzzFeed during the summer in 2014.

Franklin’s posts to BuzzFeed range from “21 Magical Burritos Across America that You Need to Try” to “The Definitive Ranking Of Drinking Games For Tailgating.”

While on the Stanford campus, he was an SAT tutor for Zenith Tutoring in Palo Alto.

After graduation, Franklin landed a job as an associate consultant for Bain & Company in NYC. He worked there for a year-and-a-half before starting at Artsy in January.

The company works with executives to “help them make better decisions and convert those decisions to actions.” It’s been around for over 40 years.

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4. Franklin Is Fluent In 4 Languages

Rob Franklin (Facebook)

Franklin is fluent in a number of different languages, his LinkedIn page says.

He can speak English, Spanish with “limited” working proficiency, French with “professional” working proficiency and Mandarin Chinese with a “professional” working proficiency.

Franklin apparently completed Mandarin Chinese classes in 2013 at the Westminster Schools.

His teacher, Lily Liu at Georgia Chinese Language Educators, wrote a recommendation for Franklin and spoke glowingly of him.

Rob took the Chinese III course with me and he did a great job in this class. I truly enjoyed the communicative competence in Chinese he displayed in my class. I love His sense of humor and his optimistic personality!

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5. Franklin’s Musical Tastes Include Bon Iver, Matt & Kim & Modest Mouse

Rob Franklin, left, and a friend (Facebook)

Franklin is a fan of an array of modern music.

His musical likes on Facebook include artists such as Matt and Kim, Modest Mouse, Childish Gambino, Bon Iver and many more.

Some of his favorite movies include American Beauty, Almost Famous and Downpour Summer.

Franklin is also very involved in fashion and designers, attending all a fair amount of fashion shows and art galleries in the NYC area.

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