White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that, in contrast to a lyric in a new rap by Jay-Z, neither the White House nor President Obama cleared his trip to Cuba.
Carney said such matters are handled by the Treasury Department.
"I guess nothing rhymes with treasury," Carney joked. "I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody's travel to Cuba."
Pressed further, Carney said: "It's a song. ... The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip."
Jay-Z and wife Beyonce's trip to Cuba has caused controversy, given the state of relations between the two countries. Two Cuban-American Republican House members from South Florida and Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have expressed concern.
Jay-Z released a song in response Thursday, which includes the lyrics "Boy from the hood but got White House clearance" and "Obama said, chill, you gonna get me impeached / We don’t need this [expletive] anyway, chill with me on the beach."
Jay-Z, Beyonce and Obama are personally close, with both artists having performed at official and campaign events.