Obama catches US team's World Cup match on Air Force 1 en route to overnight in Minneapolis


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During a town hall meeting in Minnesota, President Barack Obama congratulated the United States World Cup team for advancing to the Round of 16. (June 26)

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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — Air Force One gave President Barack Obama an advantage that wasn't available to many other frequent flyers Thursday: the opportunity to watch the U.S. team play World Cup soccer.

About midway through the approximately 2 1/2 hour flight, aides brought photographers to Obama's airborne conference room to capture him watching the match against Germany. Bowls of chips and other snacks were laid out on the table.

Germany defeated the U.S. 1-0, but both teams advance to the tournament's next round.

The final score came after Obama landed in Minneapolis, but he began a speech there by expressing his pride in the team for getting through. "They are defying the odds and earned a lot of believers in the process," he said.

In an interview Thursday with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who traveled with the president, Obama said the World Cup has even had a slight impact on how the U.S. conducts foreign policy.

"We had elements — which I won't detail — of our foreign policy that have been shaped around the World Cup," Obama told Stephanopoulos. "Phone calls, meetings, initiatives we had to think about."

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