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White House Denies Involvement in Jay-Z, Beyoncé Cuba Trip

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2013 Presidential Inauguration
Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney put to rest claims that Jay-Z got special "White House clearance" to travel to Cuba with wife Beyoncé, reports Fox News.

Carney clarified Jay-Z's rap lyrics and said the White House didn't give the Hollywood power couple permission. The Treasury Department, which is responsible for all clearances, granted permission.

"I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury," Carney joked, before stating, "The White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody's travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles."

Jay-Z and Beyoncé took some heat from Florida's Cuban-American lawmakers for their trip, since the U.S. prohibits American tourism in Cuba, with the exception of cultural visits. In response to the criticism, the Brooklyn rapper released "Open Letter" on Thursday, which included lyrics about his controversial trip and even hinted that President Obama had some involvement in the trip.

He rapped, "Politicians never did sh*t for me/ Except lie to me, distort history/ Wanna give me jail time and a fine/ Fine, let me commit real crime/... Obama said, 'Chill you gonna get me impeached'/ But you don't need this sh*t anyway/ Chill with me on the beach.'"

The Treasury Department issued a letter this week stating the couple visited the island under an "education exchange trip," and confirmed that they were given permission to do so.

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