The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled the official portraits of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, as additions to the museum’s ‘America’s Presidents’ exhibit. Both portraits were painted by African American artists chosen by the Obamas. The portraits combine traditional representations with complex elements underscoring their historic political rise.
In the last month of Obama’s term in office, he commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who he thought 7 years in prison for her crimes were enough. The transgendered ex-army Private who was formerly Bradley Manning walked out of prison on Wednesday morning after serving an abbreviated sentence in connection with one of the most notorious leaks of classified documents in U.S. history. Over $150,000 was raised online for her for when she was released so she could survive life outside of prison, and said she is now “looking forward to freedom.”
Obama released a minute long video on twitter donning his support for the French presidential candidate Macron. It is very unusual for former US Presidents to weigh in on the politics of other countries publicly but Obama seemed to want to put his admiration and support across to the possible French president. With the elections being held on May 7th, the edge this could give Macron may be a benefit.
Barack Obama warned Donald Trump in November against hiring Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign as national security adviser after it emerged he had extensive contacts with the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, and had not given a full account of them to other White House officials. The outgoing president issued the warning when the two men met in the White House two days after Trump’s election victory, White House spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed on Monday. “It’s true that President Obama made it known that he wasn’t exactly a fan of Gen Flynn’s,” Spicer said, but added that such remarks were unsurprising as Flynn had been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s policies.