April 18, 2013 08:13:56 GMT
President Obama addresses speculation that he gave permission to the billionaire couple's trip to Cuba, saying, 'This is not something the White House was involved in.'
In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC's "Today" show, President Obama said that the White House had nothing to do with Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles' trip to Cuba on their wedding anniversary. "I wasn't familiar that they were taking the trip. My understanding is I think they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba. This is not something the White House was involved in. We've got better things to do," the president said.
Previously, two congress members sent a letter to Treasury Department to seek for official information whether the couple obtained permission to visit the country. Jay-Z reacted to the investigation by releasing a song "Open Letter" on April 11.
People assumed that the president himself knew something about the super stars' trip from the song's lyrics. "I done turned Havana into Atlanta. Boy from the hood but got White House clearance. Obama said chill, you gonna get me impeached. You don't need this s**t anyway, chill with me on the beach," the lyrics read.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney immediately responded, "It's a song. The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip. Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel as you know, and the White House has nothing to do with it." The Treasury Department confirmed Jay-Z and Beyonce's trip was licensed under "educational exchange."