Jay’z song, “Open Letter,” has caused such a stir that even the White House has a response. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about some lyrics, during a press conference, where Jay-Z seemed to insinuate that he got permission for the trip directly from President Obama. Carney, is clearly not here for the drama and responds with sarcasm. Here’s the exchange (from Politico):
Donovan Slack (Reporter): I just want to return to Beyonce and Jay-Z. Jay-Z released a rap today, I know the other day you said that Treasury was the one that cleared their trip, he suggested that he got White House permission – that he personally spoke with the president. I’ll just quote: “I turned Havana into Atlanta. Boy from the hood, I got White House Clearance. Obama said chill you gonna get me impeached. You don’t need this expletive anyway, chill with me on the beach.”
Jay Carney: I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury, because Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel, as you know, and the White House has nothing to do with it.
Slack: So are you saying that he did not, the president, did not have a conversation with Jay-Z?
Carney: I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s personal — anybody’s travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles.
… it’s a song, Donovan. The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.
Here’s a video of the exchange: