Obama Orders ‘Full Review’ of Possible Election-Related Hacking Because Of Course

President Barack Obama has ordered a full review of possible election-related hacking. Obama expects to have the report completed “before he leaves office” next month, Politico reported Friday. Though whether the report will be publicly shared has not been announced, a top White House official said Friday that the results would be shared with stakeholders.

“We may have crossed into a new threshold and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what has happened and to impart some lessons learned,” Lisa Monaco, homeland security adviser, told Politico and other reporters Friday.

Back in October, the Obama administration issued a statement asserting it was “confident” that Russia was behind a series of election-related security breaches. “The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” a joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and James Clapper said at the time. “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there.”

The Next President Will Get Obama’s 11 Million Twitter Followers

When Obama became president in 2008, his role came with a brand new Twitter account @POTUS. However, this election season will mark not only a peaceful transfer of power in The White House, but online as well. According to The White House, on January 20 2017, the @POTUS account will be given to the new President to use, while all of Obama’s previous tweets on the account will be moved to his new, official Former President account at @POTUS44. The same goes for Michelle Obama’s @FLOTUS account, which will be given to the new First Lady (or First Gentleman, in which case the handle may be @FGOTUS) and all previous tweets transferred to @FLOTUS44. So all current followers of POTUS and FLOTUS will automatically follow whoever wins the election on November 8.

Obama Finally Took Time Off From Golfing & Hanging with Rappers to Ease Limits On Cuban Rum And Cigars

As of Monday, U.S. citizens who travel to Cuba will no longer be limited to bringing back goods worth up to $400 — including $100 worth of tobacco and alcohol. President Obama ordered the changes, which also clear the way for Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals to gain U.S. regulatory approval.

Instead of those special quotas, normal limits on Americans’ importation of foreign products for personal use will apply.

The changes are meant to “open up space for Cubans to improve their livelihood,” said a senior White House official who spoke about the changes on background. It’s the sixth round of amendments to U.S. sanctions on Cuba, in a process that began nearly two years ago.

The new rules cover a wide range of areas, from medical-related business projects to a new provision that will allow air cargo to transit Cuba. They also widen the field of grants, scholarships, and awards that can be provided to Cuba or to Cuban citizens, which will now include scientific research and religious activities.

Another change will allow U.S. companies or individuals to work on developing or repairing parts of Cuba’s infrastructure.

The changes “will create more opportunities for Cuban citizens to access American goods and services, further strengthening the ties between our two countries,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

Detailing the changes, the Treasury Department says that its Office of Foreign Assets Control will now operate under rules that will bring more chances for the U.S. and Cuba to share medical innovations and scientific collaboration. For instance, U.S. nationals will be able to conduct joint medical research alongside Cuban nationals — for commercial or noncommercial use.

As a whole, the moves are meant to help the Cuban people and to advance U.S. interests in the region, the White House says.

There’s a Movie About Obama’s College Years Coming to Netflix

Netflix has bought the rights to Barry, a biopic based on President Obama’s college years. According to Deadline, the streaming service beat out several other distributors to the rights with a reported bid of approximately $4.5 million USD. The film made its debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to widespread critical acclaim, garnering a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Barry is set in the early 1980′s and follows a 20-year-old Obama (played by Devon Terrell) as he just transferred to Columbia University and is navigating a new city. The film delves into issues regarding race, culture, and identity. Directed by Vikram Gandhi, the film has no set release date yet. This is also the second movie based around Obama, the first being Southside With You, which followed Obama’s first date with future First Lady Michelle Robinson.

President Obama Is Skipping Nancy Reagan’s Funeral For SXSW And Some People Aren’t Happy

Instead of attending former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral on Friday, the President will be heading to Austin to take part in SXSW, per The Washington Post. First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be attending the ceremony.

No, he won’t actually be consuming beer and tacos with other attendees. Instead, Obama’s had a standing commitment to deliver a keynote speech during SXSW Interactive. His attendance will mark the first time a sitting president has taken part in SX, which has gained popularity over the past few years by expanding beyond music to create larger roles for film and tech.

The decision to go to Austin has been met with a little backlash on social media. Some have deemed the move a “disgrace” and a lack of class.

President Barack Obama Reveals Executive Actions on Gun Control During Emotional Press Conference

After weeks of speculation surrounding the possibility of President Barack Obama issuing executive actions on the nation’s dire need for a stronger focus on gun control, Obama revealed his plans to help reduce the prevalence of gun-related violence across the country. Ahead of the announcement, so-called gun rights activists immediately started to stir up controversy surrounding the possibility of stricter background checks for those wishing to purchase firearms. Obama, however, pushed forward with his initiative before ultimately revealing his plan during a White House press conference on Tuesday.

Mark Barden, the father of Sandy Hook victim Daniel Barden, introduced Obama and Vice President Joe Biden by reminding the nation that Obama previously “made a promise” that he would do “everything in his power” to keep the nation safe from preventable gun violence. “I still remember the first time we met,” Obama said to Barden when taking the podium. “That changed me that day and my hope earnestly has been that it would change the country.”

“Too many,” Obama said after recounting the recent outburst of mass shooting in the United States. “Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns. Suicides, domestic violence, gang shoot-outs, accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters or buried their own children. Many have had to learn to live with a disability [or] without the love of their life. A number of those people are here today. They can tell you some stories. In this room right here, there are a lot of stories.”

“We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees that kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency,” Obama added, pointing to the notion that violence is not a uniquely American problem. “We start thinking this is normal.” Speaking directly to conspiracy theorists that continue to perpetuate the notion that Obama is somehow planning to do away with the Second Amendment outright, Obama hesitated very little in rebuking such falsities. “I taught constitutional law,” Obama quipped. “I know a little about this.”

Though background checks are required at designated “gun stores,” some gun sellers are not required to operate under the same set of quite reasonable rules. “Everyone should have to abide by the same rules,” Obama said. The POTUS even referenced some Republican rivals’ previous statements in apparent accord with the expansion of background check requirements, including two particularly unlikely sources: George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

“I reject that thinking,” Obama said in response to the “Why bother?” argument proposed by pacifists. “At the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill a bunch of children,” Obama reminded the nation, “but most of them survived because he didn’t have access to a powerful weapon.”

Until Congress acts appropriately on the issue of gun law reform, Obama is confident his decision to use his legal authority of executive action to expand background checks to all forms of gun purchases (digital and physical) will help move gun control in the right direction in the years ahead. “We’re also taking steps to making the background check system more efficient,” Obama added. “We’re going to bring an outdated background check system into the 21st century.”

“If we can do it for your iPad,” Obama said of the ability to track a stolen iPad with ease from the comfort of one’s home, “[then] we can do it with a stolen gun.” Adding that some retailers have already “stepped up” to support these proposals, Obama asks all retailers to take the task of gun safety seriously. “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said of the horrific Sandy Hook massacre. “And, by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

President Obama Looks Back at 7 Years of Presidency in GQ Interview

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, is set to enter the eighth and final year of his presidency at the White House, having seen the country through no small amount of challenges both domestic and external. Named by GQ as 2015 “Man of the Year,” Obama spoke to renowned sports columnist Bill Simmons in an extensive interview to voice out his thoughts on his performance over the last two terms, and the wealth of lessons he has learnt in the process. Covering topics such as the true extent of the decentralization of power, the importance of understanding the constantly shifting digital landscape, Obama also touches upon somewhat more relatable issues as which NBA team he would want to buy, and the job perk of telling the Secret Service to eliminate boys looking at Malia “in ways that made me not happy.” Read an excerpt below, and find the full interview here.

You win the election in 2008, and Twitter is just becoming a thing. Over the course of your presidency, that’s the biggest thing that’s changed. What’s the biggest challenge with all that stuff?
Speed. You are on 24/7—you have to respond immediately. The job of our office, to keep up and to respond quickly to anything that’s happening but not be consumed by it, is completely different. We’ve been building a digital team inside the White House.

When did that start?
Too late. That’s an example of something that I would’ve started earlier. That was a lesson that coming out of the first term, I should’ve understood. That’s why we built this team. It’s so interesting watching my daughters. Both are complete ninjas on the phone, right? And they can do things that I don’t even understand—they’re doing it in two seconds. But I even see a difference between Malia, who’s 17, and Sasha, who’s 14. There’s almost a mini-generational gap in terms of Sasha being so connected seamlessly to this smartphone in a way that Malia, who was already a little bit older when it really started to take, is not.

The ability to multitask with 19 different friends at the same time…
Yeah. And just the degree to which her social life is so connected to that. So it’s not just having to change how we do business inside the White House to react to stories, but also, how do we tell a story about issues to constituencies that are completely splintered, who don’t watch television in the same way, who don’t watch the news in the same way? In some ways we’re just laying the foundation for what I assume will be the standard practice of future presidents.