Update: Rick Santorum has offered his thoughts on the issue. Hear them here.
The White House has admitted to telling news agencies to pull stories on Malia Obama visiting Mexico for spring break, Politico reports.
Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, emailed Dylan Byers:
From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.
The Blaze first noticed the disappearing stories Monday afternoon, when accounts of Malia and 12 friends visiting Oaxaca with 25 Secret Service agents mysteriously began turning into broken links.
However, in admitting to “reminding outlets” about not reporting on the Obama children when there is “no vital news interest,” the White House has also tacitly admitted that Malia is (or now maybe was) in Mexico for spring break. Additional evidence has surfaced confirming that. One site has published a photo of the Obamas going to church on Sunday. It notes that Malia is absent, and says that’s due to the Mexico trip:
That site has also posted alleged photos of the vacation, but we have decided not to repost those.
As The Blaze noted on Monday, a vacation for Malia in Mexico raises a slew of questions considering the State Department has warned American citizens against travel there.
In fact, the language contained in the State Department’s travel warning is quite ominous.
“[C]rime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere,” the warning reads. “U.S. citizens have fallen victim to TCO activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery.” [Emphasis added] It continues later:
The rising number of kidnappings and disappearances throughout Mexico is of particular concern. Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. In addition, local police have been implicated in some of these incidents. We strongly advise you to lower your profile and avoid displaying any evidence of wealth that might draw attention.
Additionally, the warning (dated February 8) notes that “U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas described as ‘defer non-essential travel’ and when travel for official purposes is essential it is conducted with extensive security precautions.” However, it adds that “USG personnel and their families are allowed to travel for personal reasons to the areas where no advisory is in effect or where the advisory is to exercise caution.”
According to the release, no specific warning has been issued for Oaxaca, where Malia is said to be. However, there have been concerns about that area in the past.
This is a breaking story. Updates will be added.