President Obama suggested on Sunday that the New England Patriots cheated in the “deflategate” controversy.


In a brief live interview shortly before the Super Bowl, NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie asked if Obama had an opinion on the scandal, centered around underinflated balls used in the Patriots’ AFC Championship victory at home over the Indianapolis Colts.

The president responded that he didn’t realize both teams were responsible for providing the footballs.

“I’m assuming one of the things the NFL’s going to be doing, just to avoid any of these controversies, is that the officials are in charge of the footballs from start to finish,” he said.

“But if it happened, do you think it’s cheating?” Guthrie pressed.

“I think that, if you break the rules, you break the rules,” Obama said in the five-minute interview from the White House kitchen during which the president revealed that the first household brews its own beer made from the honey produced in first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Obamas share messages wishing each other happy Valentine's Day California elementary school to be named after Michelle Obama MORE’s garden.

The president, dressed in a collared shirt and slacks, joked “we make beer, the first president since George Washington to make some booze in the White House.”

Guthrie questioned the president on several topics all couched in football metaphors during the quick chat, after which she was to conduct a longer interview that will air Monday on the network’s popular morning talk show.

She asked why Obama seemed to do a victory dance during the State of the Union address last week, at a time when Republicans scored a touchdown in the midterm elections.

“Nobody was doing the end zone dance, but what we were talking about was the success that America has had in digging itself out of a really tough recession,” the president said.

Guthrie ended the exchange with a quick round of “either/or” questions.

The president said he prefers basketball to football, offense to defense, and chips and guacamole to buffalo wings. But when Guthrie asked for a choice between “Biden or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe 'Palmetto Promise': South Carolina will decide the race Alabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Worries grow as moderates split Democratic vote MORE,” Obama refused to bite.

“Love ‘em both,” he said.