President Obama denies approving Jay-Z, Beyoncé Cuba trip: 'We've got better things to do'
TODAY – No matter what Jay-Z decides to put in his lyrics, the White House was not involved with the rapper’s and Beyonce’s trip to Cuba — and the word came straight from the mouth of President Barack Obama during his exclusive interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie.
“I wasn’t familiar that they were taking the trip,” he told Guthrie. “My understanding is I think they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba.”
The power music couple stirred up an international and political kerfuffle when they spent their fifth anniversary in Cuba earlier in April. (Travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens is very limited.) Jay-Z took to the microphone to fire back at critics with “Open Letter,” released April 11, and noted in the lyrics: “Boy from the hood, but got White House clearance” and “Obama said, ‘Chill, you gonna get me impeached.'”
Later on, Jay-Z conceded that the White House had no hand in his trip; rather, the Department of the Treasury confirmed that it was sanctioned.
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