Jay-Z’s new song “Open Letter,” a response to criticism over his and Beyonce’s trip to Cuba, has racked up nearly 500,000 listens in just a few hours. Now we know that some of those plays came from the White House and the reporters that cover it.
During a White House press briefing earlier today, Politico reporter Donovan Slack asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney whether President Obama gave Jay-Z and Beyoncé clearance for their travel, based off a lyric from the rapper’s just-released song “Open Letter.”
After reciting the lyric (“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 shit anyway, chill with me on the beach'”), Slack asked Carney if Obama did indeed give Jay-Z clearance.
Carney brushed off the question with sarcasm: “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.”
“I am absolutely saying that the White house from the President on down had nothing to do with anybody’s travel to Cuba that is something that Treasury handles.,” he continued.
And if Carney didn’t make himself clear before, he shut down the conversation by denying White House approval straight forward.
“It’s a song, Donovan. The President did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.”
Following the presser, Slack tweeted some suggestions for words that rhyme with Treasury.
— Donovan Slack (@DonovanSlack) April 11, 2013