At the White House today, Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended Saturday night’s “private” concert with Prince.
Although rumors had surfaced about the concert, the White House was silent about the event that brought up to 500 people to the event and did not inform the press about it.
News of the event quickly leaked on social media – including posts from Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Rev. Al Sharpton.
Earnest indicated that the Obama family paid for the event at the White House, telling reporters that the first couple “did it on their own dime.”
When repeatedly questioned about the size and scope of the event, Earnest defended it as an “appropriate” “private social event” on a Saturday night, and that the Obamas wanted a chance to “host some of their friends” at “their own home.”
Earnest also suggested that since details of the event leaked, it was a sign that Obama was committed to transparency.
“I think the fact that we’re talking about a private event and the fact that details of this are known, is an indication that the president is committed to being transparent,” he said. “At the same time, the president and the First Lady are going to reserve the right to host private parties at the White House and they did it on their own dime.”
He also took a shot at reporters, suggesting that they were offended that they were not invited.
“Nobody else in here was invited either, there appears to be some angst about that,” he said.