President Barack Obama canceled a surprise Wednesday appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” over concerns it would not be appropriate to do a comedy show amid two international crises, a celebrity gossip outlet reported Tuesday.

According to TMZ, the president was set to appear on the Los Angeles set at 3 p.m. while in California during a three day fundraising trip.

Kimmel’s publicist denied the initial report, but White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed at the daily briefing Obama was in talks to do the show.

“We had been in touch with representatives of Mr. Kimmel’s show about the possibility of participating — about having the president participate in that program on this trip,” Earnest said. “We ultimately elected not to have the president do that interview over the course of this trip and that is at least in part related to the challenges of doing a comedy show in the midst of some of these other more serious matters that the president is dealing with in the international scene.”

According to TMZ, the plan was well into the planning phases. The outlet reported the White House had requested Social Security numbers for the entire staff and run background checks on  theater employees next door to the studio.

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