President Obama’s Twitter account compromised after Syrian group hacks into link-shortener

#Uh-Oh. President Obama’s Twitter account was briefly compromised Monday after a shady online group hacked into the link-shortening service used by Obama's social media team. A link posted to the President’s official Twitter account Monday afternoon that was meant to direct to a Washington Post article actually sent Internet users to a YouTube video about terrorism in Syria. A group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) quickly claimed responsibility for the attack in a post on its own Twitter account. The errant link on Obama’s Twitter account, @BarackObama, was quickly corrected and no longer directs to the video. According to CNBC, the group, which has claimed responsibility in the past for other big cyber-attacks, didn’t actually hack into the President’s account. Rather, it breached the link-shortener tool, which send out truncated links to Internet URLs, used by his social media team. The tool, a custom third-party link-shortener, was used by the President’s Organizing for Action group and is not affiliated with Twitter. In a separate post, SEA said it had also “accessed many Obama campaign emails accounts to assess his terrorism capabilities.” The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. SEA has previously targeted the Associated Press and The New York Times with cyber-attacks. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Tea party demonstrators wail that President Obama’s tax plan is too steep

Thousands of fed-up taxpayers hit America's streets Wednesday in nationally orchestrated "Tax Day TEA Parties" - including one outside City Hall to voice disgust over President Obama's economic plans, bailouts and government spending.Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich headlined Manhattan's version of the protest as demonstrators donned Revolutionary War-style tricorn hats and waved flags and fake pitchforks in cities from Boston - site of the original 1773 uprising - to Alabama. Gingrich urged listeners to issue a stern warning to elected officials, ordering them to nix a government spending spree. "We are gathered tonight to say to those we have loaned power to: 'You vote for bigger spending, you vote for bigger deficits, you vote for higher taxes, we're going to take the power back. We're going to fire you,'" he told the cheering crowd lining Broadway. The protests - with TEA standing for Taxed Enough Already - were engineered by conservative groups. Exploiting the technological tools that made Obama's campaign a mass movement last year, activists used social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote the tea parties nationwide. The demonstrations even caused a brief disruption at the White House after someone reportedly chucked a tea bag over the fence. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

President Obama finally gets his very own Twitter account

The commander-in-chief took command of his Twitter feed Monday and became the fastest person ever to reach 1 million followers. “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account,” President Obama tweeted under his brand-new @POTUS handle shortly after 11:30 a.m. Within five hours, he’d amassed more than 1 million followers. That shattered the previous record. Robert Downey Jr., the “Iron Man” star, reached that milestone in 23 hours, 22 minutes back in April 2014, according to Guinness World Records. A number of celebrities and politicians were quick to welcome the President to Twitter, with Vice President Biden leading the charge. “Welcome to Twitter. See you around the neighborhood,” Biden wrote. Obama won’t have his new handle for long, however — as one of Obama’s predecessors in the White House made sure. “Welcome to @twitter, @POTUS! One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend,” tweeted Bill Clinton. “Good question, @billclinton. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?” Obama replied, joking about Bill coming back to the White House if his wife Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 election. Obama was following 65 accounts including his college alma maters, Chicago’s major sports teams excluding the Cubs, and a slew of his cabinet officials and staffers. He also follows former President George H.W. Bush, but not his son, former President George W. Bush. Previously, Obama had used the @BarackObama handle, which was run by Organizing for Action, a nonprofit group that had grown from his campaign, and occasionally tweeted from the White House’s @WhiteHouse account, both run by staff. For the large header photo for the account, Obama picked an Continue Reading

SEE IT: President Obama speaks out against Ferguson shootings, keeping daughters off TMZ in ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ appearance

President Obama said there are no good reasons for the early Thursday shooting in Ferguson during a protest. “What happened in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and was worthy of protest, but there was no excuse for criminal acts,” the President said in his appearance Thursday on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." “Whoever fired those shots shouldn’t detract from the issue.” Obama described the shooters as criminals that need to be arrested. The President also made a point to emphasize that protesters at large should not be lumped in with those who resort to violent actions. President Obama reads mean tweets about himself on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ “What’s beautiful about Selma was reminding ourselves that real social change in this country so often has happened because ordinary people are willing, in a non-violent fashion, to make their voices heard,” Obama said. The President also hit on the Justice Department’s report that accuses the Ferguson Police Department of making discriminatory traffic stops of blacks in order to use the revenue for filling holes in the city’s budget. “We shouldn’t be complacent about the very real existence of problems out there, but we shouldn’t despair and think nothing’s changed.” President Obama’s technology use was also discussed Thursday, with Obama stating that he doesn’t typically tweet himself, does not text, sends emails from his Blackberry and cannot share Hillary Clinton’s new email address. Security issues dictate that he cannot use any devices with voice recorders on them, ruling out most modern smartphones. Obama also said that daughters Malia and Sasha, while otherwise living lives as normal teenagers, are not allowed to post anything onto social media. “Michelle and I try to emphasize to them that Continue Reading

SEE IT: President Obama reads mean tweets about himself on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

President Obama got to take on his social media critics during his Thursday night appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." In the host's "Mean Tweets" segment, Obama read aloud the tweets from his less satisfied constituents. "Is there any way we could fly Obama to some golf course halfway around the world and just leave him there?" @RWSurferGirl said. The avid golfer however said that it sounds like a good idea. "Obama's hair is looking grayer these days," writes @carold5401. "Can't imagine why since he doesn't seem to be one bit worried about all that's going on." The last tweet the President read aloud was a comment against his high-rising blue jeans, which drew the ire of critics last year in a photo of him speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Fashion critics also slammed his jeans in 2008 while on the presidential campaign trail. "I am alright with the President wearing jeans. I am not alright with the President wearing THOSE jeans," tweets @TPPratt. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel then walked right out in similarly high-rising jeans, saying that he thinks there is nothing wrong with the attire. Following the segment, the President said the tweets were tame in comparison to other official comments levied against him. "You should see what the Senate says about me," Obama quipped. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? CLICK HERE TO WATCH OBAMA READ MEAN TWEETS. Follow on Twitter @MikeJSorrentino Continue Reading

‘Saturday Night Live’ comic Jay Pharoah says his targets, which include President Obama, Jay Z and Kanye West, don’t seem to mind the mockery

"Saturday Night Live” aired its season finale last night, and funnyman Jay Pharoah thinks he made it through another year unscathed. Pharoah, who impersonates President Obama, Jay Z and Kanye West, says his targets don’t seem to mind the mockery. “If they like it, they like it. If they don’t, then I will hear about it on Twitter,” the 27-year-old comedian told [email protected] at the M&M store in Times Square while backing the Red Nose Day #MAKEMLAUGH campaign. Pharoah, 27, from Chesapeake, Va., joined the show in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2012 that he introduced his impersonation of Obama to the “SNL” audience. He also impersonates Hollywood hunks Jamie Foxx and Denzel Washington as well as former “Saturday Night Live” star Eddie Murphy. “I haven’t heard any bad things. But for the most part it is positive and I keep it like that,” said Pharoah. If anyone does have issues with him, it’ll be a one-sided fight. “I don’t have any beef with anybody,” he adds. Pharoah explains that getting into character is second nature for him. He says he’s been a crowd-pleaser since age 6. “Everything that I do that (viewers) see is in the wheelhouse. Nothing I do, do I think, ‘Oh, this is hard to do.’ … It’s just all relative to me.” One of Pharoah’s favorites is a skit he gets to do with on-air pal Kenan Thompson. “Shaquille O’Neal (Pharoah) and Charles Barkley (Thompson) is fun for me. I love playing that character even though it hurts my eyes when I do it, because I cross them and keep them crossed.” O’Neal doesn’t seem to have a problem. He tweeted last year, “Jay Pharaoh is the man, lol.” No doubt that was a welcome tweet from Shaq, who stands 7-foot-1 and weighs 325 pounds. “SNL” closed its milestone 40th season Saturday with Louie C.K. as host Continue Reading

Wife of top Israeli official tweets racist message about President Obama

The wife of a top Israeli official tweeted a racist joke about President Obama Sunday, before quickly deleting the offensive post. “Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak,” Judy Nir Mozes Shalom, a prominent television show host, and the wife of Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, tweeted Sunday. The post immediately created uproar in the Israeli media with many periodicals in the Middle Eastern country, in addition to English and Hebrew Twitter users, blasting Mozes Shalom for the offensive tweet. Mozes Shalom quickly deleted the post and returned to Twitter to apologize. “President Obama I shouldn’t have written the inappropriate joke I heard. I like people no matter their race and religion,” she wrote. “Sorry if I caused any offence to anyone. I hope I will stay married when my husband will land and hear what I did,” she wrote. Twitter users brushed off her mea culpa, ripping her as “frighteningly racist” and asked “have you gone mad?” The traditionally solid relationship between the U.S. and Israel has grown frayed in recent months as Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have repeatedly criticized Obama’s ongoing negotiations with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE Continue Reading

President Obama responds to Twitter questions about NBA finals amid climate change discussion

President Obama took to Twitter to talk about global warming after a briefing at the National Hurricane Center - but his views on the NBA’s rainmakers got a lot more attention. Obama, using his freshly minted @POTUS Twitter handle, took questions on climate change after receiving his annual briefing on its effects at Miami’s National Hurricane Center. But when he weighed in on the NBA Finals, Twitter lit up. When asked if Cleveland Cavaliers sharpshooter J.R. Smith could outshoot NBA M.V.P. and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and “lead the Cavs to a championship,” Obama responded that Lebron James is the Cavs’ real star. “ jr smith having a great season but the heart of the Cavs is Lebron. And no one can outshoot Curry - maybe Korver if wide open,” he tweeted, referring to Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver. That tweet was retweeted and favorited by thousands, as was one where he lamented Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s Thursday firing after a disappointing playoff loss to the Cavs. “love thibs and think he did a great job. Sorry to see him go but expect he will be snatched up soon by another team,” he tweeted. The President indulged hoops fans but ignored other pressing questions — like whether Zayn will return to One Direction, whether he’d eat a tarantula for $100, and whether he’d rather rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses. Most of Obama’s answers focused on climate change, though they got far fewer retweets. “More severe weather events lead to displacement, scarcity, stressed populations; all increase likelihood of global conflict,” he said, explaining why he views climate change as a national security issue. “The science is overwhelming but what will move Congress will be public opinion. Continue Reading

President Obama uses Twitter to thank 5-year-old for heartfelt letter

President Obama used his new Twitter account to reply to an adorable but heartfelt letter from a 5-year-old. Yasmeen Faruqui penned a letter to the President in which she asked the commander-in-chief to help make the world a better place. "Please stop war for our world, instead have a meeting," the handwritten note read. "Please give a speech to tell everyone they can marry who they want." Faruqui's aunt, touched by the note, posted a photo of the letter on Twitter, and tagged Obama's new personal handle, @POTUS. Obama didn't waste any time in responding, writing his own message Friday on the social media platform. "Tell your niece I really like her letter. Couldn't agree more," he wrote — just the sixth Tweet on his new account. Last week, Obama launched his very own Twitter feed after six years of having staff members tweet for him on two other accounts. Obama's @POTUS handle became the fastest account to ever reach 1 million followers. Continue Reading

President Obama discovered Hillary Clinton’s personal email use through news reports

President Obama discovered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email at the same time as news readers. Obama, after delivering a Saturday speech in Selma, Ala., was asked when he found out about Clinton’s personal email system run from her Chappaqua home. “The same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” he told CBS News. Obama waded into the controversy for the first time since Clinton’s use of a private email account was revealed last week — raising questions about whether key messages were preserved. Clinton’s use of the “” address drew widespread criticism from Republicans. The revelation has come at a delicate time for Clinton, who is preparing to launch a second bid for the presidency in the coming weeks. The President called Clinton a “great Secretary of State” and insisted that his administration encouraged transparency. “My emails, the Blackberry I carry around, all those records are available and archived,” Obama said, according to an excerpt from the interview released Saturday evening. “I’m glad that Hillary’s instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed.” The White House has refused to say whether they believe Clinton’s personal email use violated any administration policies or broke any laws. Asked how Clinton’s private server squares with his commitment to transparency, the President said: “The fact that she is going to be putting them forward will allow us to make sure that people have the information they need.” Clinton tweeted Wednesday that she wants all of her emails made public. In an appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative University in Florida, she made no mention of the controversy. Former President Bill Clinton also refused to address the Continue Reading