Topics: Barack Obama

Obama: Sochi Olympics 'safe,' some risks remain

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Politics,White House,Olympics,Barack Obama,CNN,Russia,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Sochi

President Obama gave a cautious green light to Americans who want to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February.

In an interview on CNN's “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that aired Friday afternoon, Obama said he considered Sochi “safe” — with a caveat.

“There are always some risks in these large, international gatherings,” he said. “The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand that there are potential threats that are out there and we are coordinating with them.

“We're not discouraging in any way Americans from participating,” he added.

A series of bombings in Russia have sparked concerns that the Olympics could be targeted by terrorists. A number of lawmakers have questioned Russia's security preparations and cooperation with the U.S.

Obama and his family, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, said in December they are not attending the Sochi Olympics. The U.S. delegation will consist of former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul, as well as Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and former Olympians Brian Boitano, Eric Heiden and Bonnie Blair, among others.

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