Samsung tweeted the photo to more than 5 million followers. The company was also behind the record-setting tweet of the photo Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars.
Ortiz admitted Wednesday that he has a deal with the tech giant, but insisted the photo with the president was spontaneous.
“It wasn’t anything promotional or anything like that,” he told reporters.
“I mean who knows that you’re going to take a picture with the president, a selfie. You know what I’m saying? How many people can guarantee that?”
Ortiz told the Boston Globe that he signed a deal with Samsung a few months ago and the company gives him “phones and other stuff.”
The Obama selfie “wasn’t anything on purpose,” Ortiz told the Globe. “I would say I went along just like everyone else taking pictures and posted.”
The White House is not making any public request to take down the tweets.
According to CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante, they don’t want to appear “heavy handed.”
They did make it clear that they were not pleased.
“Without getting into council’s discussions, I can tell you that 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,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during a daily briefing.
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