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White House blasts Samsung for tweeting Obama-Ortiz selfie

President's lawyers looking into 'commercial' pic taken by Boston Red Sox player

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The White House has criticised Samsung for tweeting a selfie taken by Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz of himself with the US President, using a Sammy mobe.

The baseball player, at the White House for an event honouring the team for winning the World Series this year, posed with Barack Obama when he presented him with a Red Sox shirt with his name on it. The photo was set up for the gaggle of media photographers at the event, but Ortiz also captured the moment with a selfie.

Samsung Mobile US later retweeted Ortiz's post with the selfie attached to its millions of followers and later mentioned that the image was taken with one of its new products, which has sparked rumours that the whole thing was a stunt.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said yesterday that the administration was not impressed with Sammy riding on Obama's coat-tails.

"As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president's likeness for commercial purposes… And we certainly object in this case," he said.

He also said that White House lawyers were being consulted about the incident, which has set off rumours that Samsung engineered the apparently spur-of-the-moment selfie. Fellow player Jonny Gomes added fuel to that fire by apparently yelling out, "Cha-ching!" when Ortiz took the picture.

But Ortiz has denied being set up to take the shot by Samsung.

“That was one of those things that just happened," he told the Boston Globe. "I gave him the jersey, and the photographers were going to take their pictures and I thought, really at the last second, maybe I should snap a shot with my phone while I have the chance.

“It had nothing to do with no deals,” he claimed.

He also told Boston.com that "cha-ching" was something that the players said to mean "got it!".

Samsung has yet to publicly comment on the controversy. ®

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