President Obama Talks Jay-Z And Beyonce: Reveals Whether He Knew About Controversial Trip To Cuba [VIDEO]

 @ammiet1a.tate@ibtimes.com
on April 17 2013 1:05 PM

President Barack Obama addressed Jay-Z and Beyonce’s controversial trip to Cuba from earlier this month.

In an interview with NBC's "Today" taped before the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, co-anchor Savannah Guthrie asked the president if he knew about the trip.

"I wasn't familiar that they were taking the trip," Obama answered. "My understanding is I think they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba."

When asked if he had heard Jay-Z’s latest song, “Open Letter,” which talks in part about the backlash he and his wife received for taking the trip, Obama did not address the question.

The power couple received backlash from Cuban-American Congress members from Florida, among others, for violating the longstanding U.S. embargo against Cuba. The Department of Treasury has since confirmed that the trip to Cuba was authorized as a cultural exchange and therefore legal.

The trip received so much attention that last Thursday, a White House news conference ended up revolving around Jay-Z, otherwise known as Sean Carter, and Beyoncé.

The reporter asked Press Secretary Jay Carney, amid laughs from fellow journalists, if Jay-Z received White House clearance for his trip to Cuba and whether or not he spoke to Obama about it.

She then proceeded to quote lyrics from the rapper’s new song, “Open Letter,” saying, “Boy from the hood/I got White House clearance/Obama said, ‘Chill, you gonna get me impeached/You don’t need this [expletive] anyway [sic]. Chill with me on the beach.'”

The rest of the press in the conference room could not contain their laughter as the journalist repeated Jay-Z’s lyrics.

"I guess nothing rhymed with treasury,” Carney replied before later stating, “It’s a song. ... The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.”

Watch Obama address the trip to Cuba below:

 

 

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