"I wasn't familiar that they were taking the trip," Obama told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie in an interview taped before Monday's devastating Boston Marathon bombings. "My understanding is I think they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba."
Beyonce, 32, and Jay-Z, 43, stirred up fresh controversy when they visited the Communist Caribbean island nation on April 4, their fifth wedding anniversary. A longstanding U.S. trade embargo prohibits most Americans from visiting Cuba without a license granted by U.S. authorities.
After it was confirmed that the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the cultural trip, Jay-Z rapped in his song "Open Letter" about Obama's supposed involvement in the trip. "Boy from the hood but got White House clearance," he rapped. "Obama said chill, you gonna get me impeached/You don't need this s--t anyway, chill with me on the beach."
Clarified Obama to Guthrie: "This is not something the White House was involved in. We've got better things to do.