Was President Obama publicly rebuffed by his wife at Verizon Center on Monday night?
Not according to the White House.
Spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that first lady Michelle Obama did not turn down her husband when their images were featured on the “Kiss Cam” during the first half of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team’s exhibition game against Brazil.
The first couple drew some boos when they failed to kiss; images of the big-screen moment appeared to show the first lady ignoring Obama when he leaned in for a smooch.
“I will say that this incident was the subject of some high-level conversations on the helicopter en route to Andrews Air Force Base,” Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama aboard Air Force One en route to a day of fundraisers in Texas.
“I can tell you based on a very good source that reports that the president was rebuffed are false,” Earnest continued. “The president and first lady enjoyed the basketball game yesterday. During the first half they were sitting in the stands and they noticed their images were on the large screen, smiled. But they did not recognize that their images were on the screen in conjunction with the ‘Kiss Cam.’”
At halftime, Earnest explained, the Obamas’ daughters, Malia and Sasha, gave them a hard time for not kissing.
“So during Act 2 of the Kiss Cam the president took advantage to steal a kiss from his wife,” Earnest said. At least one of them was captured on the big screen, drawing some cheers and chants of “four more years!”