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Obama to Prince Harry: World leaders must be wary of ‘dangers of the internet’

    

Barack Obama was a guest of Prince Harry’s for a special edition of Radio 4’s Today program Wednesday. 

The two spoke about their common focus of building leaders for the next generation as well as Obama’s memories of the day he left office and his hopes for his post-presidential life.

The interview, which will also soon be released as a podcast, was conducted in September, when Obama joined Harry in Toronto for the Invictus Games — which was also the first public outing for the prince and Meghan Markle before they announced their engagement last month.

Touching on life after world leadership, Obama told the prince, “I still care about making sure that the United States and the world is a place where kids get a decent education. Where people who are willing to work hard are able to find a job that pays a living wage.”

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“That we’re conserving the amazing resources of our planet so that future generations can enjoy the beauty of this place. Like we did.”

Of his feelings as President Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017, Obama reflected, “The first thing that went through my mind was sitting across from Michelle, how thankful I was that she had been my partner through that whole process.”

Without naming Trump, Obama, too, touched on “the dangers of the internet,” noting that “people can have entirely different realities.” He noted, “They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases.”

Asserted the former president: “All of us in leadership have to find ways in which we can re-create a common space on the internet.”

There was also some time for fun during the interview. In a behind-the-scenes video from the recording, Obama joked, “Do I have to put on a British accent?”    

The 33-year-old royal shot back, “No, but if you start using long pauses between answers you’re going to get ‘the face.’”

Harry then demonstrated a very serious scowl, to which the 56-year-old politician replied, “I don’t want to see that face.”

Obama also answered a series of quick fire questions, picking basketball star Michael Jordan over LeBron James and Friends’ Rachel over Monica. In a nod to his fiancée, Harry also prodded Obama to pick which he preferred: TV series “Suits” or “The Good Wife”?

Replied the former president, “ ‘Suits,’ obviously.”

The Obamas became friends with Harry as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton throughout their time in office. Harry met with Michelle on a number of occasions, including at the previous Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.

Last April, the Obamas stopped by Kensington Palace for dinner, where they had a chance to meet Harry’s nephew, Prince George (who made waves on the internet for the dapper personalized bathrobe he wore for the occasion).

Obama was among those to congratulate Harry and Meghan on their engagement, tweeting: “Michelle and I are delighted to congratulate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their engagement.

“We wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness together.”

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