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Jay-Z Claims Obama Approved Cuba Trip; White House Denies

Submitted by on April 12, 2013 – 10:31 amOne Comment

Jay-Z fired back at critics of his recent vacation to Cuba with his scathing new song “Open Letter,” where he claims President Barack Obama himself approved the trip. The White House unequivocally denied the lyric.

In the song, Jay-Z states:

“Obama said, chill, you gonna get me impeached / We don’t need this sh*t anyway, chill with me on the beach.”

Responding to the song, White House press secretary Jay Carney denied the claim completely, saying “the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s travel to Cuba.” He added that the Treasury Department handles such requests, joking that “nothing rhymes with Treasury.”

Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé recently visited the island nation for their fifth anniversary. Critics, including several politicians, raised concerns over travel to Cuba, which has no official diplomatic relations and a trade embargo with the US.

The power couple is reportedly close with the president, having met him, appeared in campaign ads, and raised funds for him.

Jay-Z’s mention of President Obama hits on several images the president’s enemies frequently invoke, whether they are accurate or not: Obama’s connection to celebrities, his vacation time, his attitude towards Communism, and his spending (especially during the current sequester). Just this week, conservative media criticized the president for hosting a tribute to Nashville soul at the White House.

I’m not saying that Jay-Z or the president should care what these critics have to say, but: a multi-millionaire rap star says the president personally approved his trip to a Communist dictatorship, while inviting him to lounge on the beach in the middle of a recession? What could possibly go wrong?

[via Washington Post; image by Scout Tufankjian/Obama for America]

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