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Entries in Michelle Obama (68)

Wednesday
Mar132013

Equifax Confirms Hackers Stole Financial Data, Launches Investigation

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Credit reporting agency Equifax confirmed "fraudulent and unauthorized access" to the financial files of four high-profile people, but the company declined to identify the individuals.

Equifax confirmed the security breach on Tuesday, one day after a website posted what hackers claim to be Social Security numbers, credit reports, former addresses and personal banking information of celebrities and other top Washington, D.C., officials, including first lady Michelle Obama.

"We are aware of recent media reports pertaining to unauthorized access to files belonging to high-profile individuals. Equifax can confirm that fraudulent and unauthorized access to four consumer credit reports has occurred," Tim Klein, a spokesman for Equifax, wrote in a statement Tuesday.

The U.S. Secret Service has launched an investigation into potential hacking of personal information of Mrs. Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sources tell ABC News.

The hackers claim to have what appears to be the first lady's credit report, Social Security number, previous addresses and phone numbers.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News on Tuesday, President Obama confirmed authorities were investigating whether hackers had indeed obtained and posted online financial information belonging to his wife, but he would not say whether the information was authentic.

"We should not be surprised that if we've got hackers that want to dig in and have a lot of resources, that they can access this information," the president said.  "Again, not sure how accurate but ... you've got web sites out there that tell people's credit card info.  That's how sophisticated they are."

ABC News is not disclosing the website's name, which appears to originate in Russia because the Internet suffix of the site's web address was originally assigned to the Soviet Union.

The first lady is not the only potential victim.  The ominous website claims it also has personal information on FBI director Robert Mueller, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The site's so-called "secret files" claim to reveal everything from how much Kim Kardashian pays for her car lease to Ashton Kutcher's American Express bill and even Paris Hilton's credit score.

Beyonce, Jay Z, Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, Hulk Hogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump were some of the other celebrities who were allegedly hacked.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar122013

Michelle Obama and Other Celebrities' Personal Info Allegedly Hacked

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly a dozen celebrity A-listers and political heavy-hitters including first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have allegedly had their most private financial information hacked and posted online.

On Monday, a website posted what hackers claim to be Social Security numbers, credit reports, former addresses and personal banking information of celebrities and other top Washington, D.C., officials.

The hackers claim to have what appears to be the first lady's credit report, Social Security number and phone numbers.  Other targets include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, FBI Director Robert Mueller, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Information posted about Biden and Clinton did not include credit reports, but included addresses and other sensitive information.

On Tuesday morning, ABC News tried calling a number listed for Biden and it turned out to be a local business in Delaware.

"The Department is aware of the report and the FBI is investigating the matter," a Department of Justice spokesperson told ABC News.

The Secret Service said they're aware of the reporting, but offered no further comment.

The site's so-called "secret files" claim to reveal everything from how much Kim Kardashian pays for her car lease to Ashton Kutcher's American Express bill and even Paris Hilton's credit score.

Beyonce, Jay Z, Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, Hulk Hogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump were some of the other celebrities who were allegedly hacked.  ABC News reached out to them overnight, but they did not respond to calls for comment. Kardashian, Hilton and Kutcher have also not responded to ABC News' request for a comment to the hacking allegations.

Gibson's rep told ABC News that they haven't verified that he has been hacked.

ABC News is not disclosing the website's name, which appears to originate in Russia because the Internet suffix of the site's web address was originally assigned to the Soviet Union.

ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett said the entire site could be a fraud designed to embarrass those in the public eye.

"I'm very suspect [about] information released online.  It goes against the very reason you steal them, it's to use them," Garrett said.  "Is this a prank?  Is this a hoax?  Is it to get attention?  That wouldn't surprise me one bit."

The site's homepage, which features an image of a girl with her eyes covered in black makeup, had over 111,000 hits as of 7:15 a.m. EST.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec142012

First Lady Visits Children’s Hospital, First Dog in Tow

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Young patients at the Children’s National Medical Center were entertained today with Christmas festivities, including a visit from Santa Claus and a story reading from first lady Michelle Obama. The first family’s dog, Bo, also came, much to the delight of the children.

Balancing a slightly-too-large pooch on her lap, the first lady read “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” interjecting her own jokes and commentary as she went.

“Do you know the names of the reindeer?” she asked her audience. “‘Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!’ You see, Bo?” she said, gesturing to a picture of the sled.

“As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound,” she continued from the book. “Why do you think it was a ‘bound?’ Because St. Nick is a little hefty! Jolly, exactly.”

Michelle Obama’s visit to the hospital continues a tradition for first ladies dating to the years of Bess Truman. Her visit coincided with an appearance at a charity concert benefiting the hospital earlier this week.

After the reading, she took a few questions from the children in the audience.

The first lady reported there were 12 chimneys in the White House and the Secret Service has cleared Santa for entrance. But she was tight-lipped when asked what she was getting President Obama for the holiday, citing the press in the back of the room.

“Well, I can’t tell,” she replied. “Look, they’re going to print it in the papers tomorrow. What do you think I should get him?  Give me some ideas.”

One child suggested a new iPad Mini, after learning the president already owns the full-sized version of the tablet computer.

The first lady made no mention of the shooting deaths at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut Friday; her appearance came mere moments before her husband addressed the nation regarding the attack.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec112012

Michelle Obama Collects Toys for Tots with Marine Corps

Leon Neal/WPA POOL/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — First lady Michelle Obama volunteered with the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign Tuesday, continuing a tradition she’s made with the organization each year since entering the White House.

Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization that collects gifts for needy children. Before joining service members in sorting the toy and clothing donations into large boxes for delivery, Obama thanked the assorted volunteers, which were overwhelmingly military, for taking time for the program during the holiday season.

“As you all know, Toys for Tots started with a military family — a Marine reservist and his wife who decided that they wanted to make the holiday just a little bit better for kids in need,” she said. “And since then, so many Americans — including so many military families like all of you — have spent countless hours bringing gifts and holiday cheer and everything else that is wonderful about the holidays to children all across this country.”

The first lady said the event was an example of military families “always going that extra mile” to serve communities.

“Somehow you always are the first people to volunteer for something,” she said. “It could be as simple as the carpool, or the PTA, or a food pantry, or you’re stepping up for a neighbor or friend; family members of your own.”

The small event took place at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in the southeast of the city. Some donations came from the White House itself, including clothes from the Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Also found among the gifts were boxes of K’NEX construction toys President Obama brought back from a recent visit to their factory in Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov282012

First Lady Unveils White House Holiday Decorations  

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy(WASHINGTON) -- It took 54 live Christmas trees, 175 pounds of gingerbread, and 85 volunteers from across the country to pull it off, but the holidays have finally arrived at the White House.
 
First lady Michelle Obama welcomed military families to the White House Wednesday for the big reveal and to show off this year’s theme of “Joy to All.”
 
“It celebrates the many joys of the holiday seasons:  the joy of giving and service to others; the joy of sharing our blessings with one another; and, of course, the joy of welcoming our friends and families as guests into our homes over these next several weeks,” she told the crowd gathered in the East Room.
 
The first lady praised the service and sacrifice of the families gathered at the White House Wednesday, which included Gold Star and Blue Star parents, spouses and children. “This is one big, huge thank you,” she said. “I have said this many times before and I will say it again, because I can't say it enough -- our military families truly represent the very best that this country has to offer.  And I've seen it up close.  You all do so much for this country, and you do it with such amazing poise and grace.”
 
Several of the decorations honor the military, including red, white and blue wreaths and special ornaments decorated by families of fallen soldiers. The decor also includes a nod to holidays past, with four trees trimmed with ornaments paying tribute to the legacies of former first ladies. “They just give you a sense of what Christmas felt like in other administrations with other families and first ladies,” Mrs. Obama said.
 
More than 90,000 visitors will tour the decorations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this holiday season, which now boasts a huge 18-foot-6-inch Fraser fir in the Blue Room and a giant topiary of the Obama family dog Bo made out of 20,000 black and white pom-poms.
 
Other highlights include the annual White House gingerbread house, which weighs in at an impressive 300 pounds. “It even includes chandeliers that light up,” the first lady bragged. “It glows. Like Rudolph’s nose, right.”
 
Fun facts about this year’s decorations:

  • The official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room is an 18-foot-6-inch Fraser fir from the Estes Family’s Peak Farms in Jefferson, North Carolina, the winning tree farm of the National Christmas Tree Association’s National Christmas Tree Contest.
  • More than 175 pounds of gingerbread and modified gingerbread make up the White House Gingerbread House. With over 50 pounds of chocolate, the house weighs about 300 pounds. The combination of wheat, rye, and white-flour gingerbread mimics the color of the sandstone house prior to 1798, when the house was first painted white.
  • There are more than 40 “Bo-flake” ornaments throughout the White House.
  • The snowflakes at the East Entrance are made out of lightweight laminate board. Volunteers clipped and wired small boxwood bundles, dipped them in floor wax to preserve the freshness, and hot glued them to the frame. The project took approximately 25 volunteers a total of 100 hours to make.
  • The berry, pinecone, and leaf designs of the East Entrance column covers took a team of 40+ volunteers over two months to make. The column covers were constructed over a plywood base using 60,000 berries, 15,000 gold pinecone scales, and 15,000 pieces of lemon leaf. The pattern forms a three-dimensional geometric motif of “illusion cubes.”
  • The giant Bo topiary in Booksellers is made out of 18,000 one-inch black pom-poms and 2,000 white pom-poms. The pom-poms were strung on a single strand of yarn and then applied in an overlapping technique to resemble Bo’s fur. The Bo topiary took one volunteer approximately 85 hours to complete.
  • The colorful iron arches in the Lower Cross Hall are covered with over 6,000 repurposed White House ornaments. The arches took a team of 12 volunteers a total of 350 hours to make.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Meaning Behind First Lady, Ann Romney Matching Dresses

Bruce Bennett/Michael Reynolds/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michelle Obama and Ann Romney may not agree on who should be our next president but their wardrobes were in perfect harmony Tuesday night at the second presidential debate in Hempstead, N.Y.  Both women showed up at Hofstra University sporting hot pink dresses on their husbands’ big night.

Ann Romney wore a short-sleeved sheath dress by Oscar de la Renta along with a statement-making jade-colored necklace. Sarah Haley, spokeswomen for Mrs. Romney, said she “has been very involved with breast cancer awareness this month by visiting hospitals and meeting with patients and survivors. She’s worn lots of pink as a result!”

Andrea Rader, managing director of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, told ABC News that they noticed that the first lady and Ann Romney wore pink Tuesday night. “When women like the first lady and Mrs. Romney support breast cancer awareness, they help us to remind women of the importance of breast health and the mission to end breast cancer through treatments and community health programs. ”

According to the Obama campaign, the first lady also wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Michelle Obama was dressed in a hot pink dress with a matching collared jacket by Michael Kors. Though this pink popped on the first lady during the debate, this is not the first time that she has sported the feminine shade. She was recently seen wearing a beautiful pink Tracy Reese Dress during her Democratic National Convention speech in September.

On Oct. 3, the White House turned on pink lights and reportedly President Obama has been spotted wearing the supportive pink bracelet symbolizing support for breast cancer awareness.

The president also issued a proclamation on Oct. 1 declaring the month National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep242012

Obama to Work with Kids After Presidency, He Tells "The View"

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- After his presidency is finished --whether it is this year or in 2016 -- President Barack Obama said Monday that he would like to work with kids in the next phase of his life.

Obama was asked during a taping of ABC’s The View Monday in New York City what he sees himself doing after he is no longer president.

“Well, you know, first things first here,” Obama said to laughter. “There’s all kinds of things I want to do in the second term, uh, putting folks back to work, making sure our schools are up to snuff.”

“And then?” Barbara Walters, host of the show, said.

“You know, in a post-presidency, the thing that I think I would enjoy most is spending time working with kids,” Obama said. “I love teaching, I miss teaching, and you know, I’m not sure it would necessarily be in a classroom, but the idea of being able to go around in various cities and helping to create mentorships, and apprenticeships, giving young people the sense of possibility and opportunity, and using whatever spotlight I can shine to show how much incredible talent there is out there.”

Obama said that one of the things he has most enjoyed about being president is meeting smart, energetic young people who have ideas for making a better world. He hopes to work with more young people after his term -- or terms -- are finished.

“So making sure that we’re reaching all those kids and giving them a sense, here’s what’s possible to you, let’s open up some doors for them, something along those lines, I think I’d really enjoy doing,” Obama said.

 

Obama appeared on the show with his wife, Michelle Obama, who also discussed her plans.  Both she and President Obama reiterated that she would not be making any bid for public office.

“She should run for office, but she says she doesn’t want to,” the president said.

“Yeah, no,” the first lady said to laughter.

“I mean, Michelle would be terrific,” the president said, “but temperamentally I just don’t think…”

“No, it’s absolutely true,” Michelle continued. “It takes a lot of patience to be the president of the United States, and I’m not that patient.”‘

The first lady said that she enjoyed being able to hand-pick projects she’s passionate about, and would continue focusing on helping veterans returning from war and their families in the coming years.

The full episode of The View will air Tuesday at 11 a.m. EST.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep142012

Obama Salutes US Olympic and Paralympic Teams at White House

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama welcomed the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House Friday, telling them they are “a portrait of what this country is all about.”

“You guys all find the strength to keep pushing on good days and bad days, because you believe that no matter where we come from, or no matter what hand we’ve been dealt in life, with enough effort, there is no limit to how far we can go,” the president told the large crowd of athletes gathered on the White House South Lawn.

“That’s what sets all of you apart.  That’s what sets America apart.  We celebrate individual effort, but we also know that, together, we can do incredible things that we couldn’t accomplish on our own,” he said.

The president was joined by Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama, who led the U.S. delegation to the Summer Games in London, in saluting the nation’s finest athletes.

“I had so much fun with everyone over in London that when I got home, I told Barack that we had to invite everybody over to the house,” Michelle Obama said.

The president admitted he was “pretty jealous” that his wife got to go to the games, “but like millions of Americans, I had almost as much fun just following you guys from here.”

“I usually work pretty late, but I’ve mastered the DVR,” he quipped. “It was a great way to end the day, watching you guys do things that I did not think were humanly possible.”

After his wife returned to Washington, the president, an avid sports fan and exercise enthusiast, said he and the first lady would talk about the games while they worked out in the morning.

“We’d talk about, did you see that thing?” he recounted. “That was unbelievable. …  And then I’d jog on the treadmill,” he said, making fun of his own athletic prowess.

The president said that he was not supposed to shake everyone’s hands because of his tight schedule but vowed to “break the rule” and do it anyway, which he did.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug202012

Obama Crashes First-Ever Kids’ State Dinner

Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama made a surprise appearance at the first-ever kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by the first lady at the White House Monday, celebrating the young winners of a national healthy recipe contest who proved food can be “healthy and tasty at the same time.”

“Usually, I get invited to the state dinners. So this time I just had to crash,” the president said as he entered the ornate East Room to squeals of excitement from the young guests. “I had to crash the party because I did not want to miss out on all the fun.”

The children, ages 8 to 12, were all winners of the “healthy lunchtime challenge,” a nationwide competition that asked kids and their parents to submit recipes for lunchtime meals that were “healthy, affordable and tasty.” Today’s “State Dinner” luncheon featured a selection of the winning recipes, including “Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes” and “Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad.”

“I could not be prouder of you, the young people, because, you know, it’s hard enough to follow a recipe and make something good to eat,” the president said. “I’m not a great cook. I’m an OK cook. I can make a good omelet and toast. …  Let’s face it, I don’t cook that often these days, but I remember cooking, and it’s not always easy to make something that people like to eat.

“Then for you guys to actually come up with recipes that are healthy and tasty, and to do it in a way that helps to contribute to spreading the word about healthy eating among your peers, that’s a really big deal.”

The White House spared none of the pomp and circumstance of a State Dinner. The children, dressed to the nines, were announced as they entered the White House and interviewed by eager reporters.

White House chef Sam Kass MC’d the arrivals and spoke with guests about their recipes as they entered the East Room.

“Is this not cool?” Michelle Obama said as she welcomed the 54 contest winners and their guardians to the White House. “This is just so very cool. And understand, it’s not just cool for all of you. I mean, this house has been abuzz with this event. I think this is one of the best events that we’ve ever had here, our very first-ever Kids State Dinner, so, so awesome.”

The first lady sat with the children as they ate their healthy lunches off the red Reagan state china, sitting at round tables with large bouquets of bright red tomatoes and green apples.

The White House chefs and a team of judges critiqued more than 1,200 entries to pick the winning recipes from each state and territory and recreated the winning recipes for Monday’s lunch.

“You’re here because your recipes truly stood out, right? And that’s really saying something,” the first lady said. “You came up with dishes that were packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients, dishes that are good for you, but more importantly, they taste good, too. See? It can happen, healthy and tasty at the same time.”

Lunch was just the beginning of a fun day at the White House for the winners, who were also treated to a concert by Big Time Rush and given a tour of the kitchen garden.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug132012

Michelle Obama Explains Her Side of the Kiss Cam Story

Margaret Norton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- The first lady is setting the record straight when it comes to last month’s kiss cam controversy, saying she did not intentionally snub the president’s advances.

The first couple was booed at a basketball game when they refused to pucker up after being caught by the “kiss cam.” The president was seen on the big screen with his arm around his wife, while Mrs. Obama appeared to shake her head “no.”

In an interview with NBC’s The Tonight Show, the first lady denied the caught-on-tape moment, telling Jay Leno that she did not realize they had missed the chance to smooch.

“I had just walked in and sat down, and I just saw my face on the Jumbotron. And I’m still a little embarrassed. So I just, I didn’t see the kiss cam part,” Mrs. Obama said in an early clip of the interview that airs in full Monday night.

Her daughter was quick to point out their error. “Malia came over after we got booed for not kissing. And she was she was just disgusted with us,” the first lady said laughing.

“She said, ‘Why didn’t you kiss?’ And I was like, ‘Kiss what? What are you talking about?’ She’s like, ‘You were on the kiss cam. You were supposed to kiss.’ And I was -- we were like -- we were not paying attention,” she recounted.

Malia then took it upon herself to remedy the situation. “She orchestrated that second try because after the second half, we came back. She said, ‘I’ve arranged for you to get another chance on the kiss cam,’” she said.

The camera focused on the Obamas again and this time, the president planted a big kiss on his wife.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio