On "The Today Show," President Obama says he had no advance knowledge of Jay-Z and Beyonce's trip to Cuba.
President Barack Obama appeared this morning on NBC's "The Today Show." Among several issues the Head Of State discussed, he did take a moment to address some current political controversy intersecting with the Hip Hop community. Two weeks ago, Jay-Z and Beyonce celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana, Cuba. Photographs of the couple surfaced, sparking controversy, particularly in South Florida.
Senator Marco Rubio, along with United States Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart called for explanation as to how the music couple acquired a license to reach the country with a U.S.-sanctioned tourism embargo. Rubio personally sought explanation from President Obama, who has been publicized as an acquaintance of Jay and Beyonce, who are both public supporters of his two Presidential campaigns and subsequent elections. This led to a White House press conference question last Thursday (April 11), after Jay-Z mentioned Obama urging him to "chill," in his "Open Letter" song. In the record, Jay portrayed a concerned President warning the rapper that his actions could "get him impeached."
On "The Today Show," the President stated, "I wasn't familiar that [Jay-Z and Beyonce] were taking the trip. My understanding is I think they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba."
Educational trips to Cuba are permitted in the United States.