There was a lot to question about the initial account of Michelle Obama buying $50,000 of the "most erotic lingerie in the world" at the Agent Provocateur store on Madison Avenue in New York City.
You can look at our original report and the questions we raised here.
The pictures are largely safe for work. But the links to Agent Provocateur videos are probably not.
Also -- our original post also shows how the headline on the initial Telegraph report has been slightly changed.
I'd been wondering how long it would take for the White House to deny the story.
It's unclear where the story started but The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Telegraph all are reporting that Michelle Obama spent thousands of dollars at a high-end lingerie store in New York last year.
None of the news outlets backed up this assertion or included comment from the White House. But after inquiries from POLITICO, the White House said the stories were completely untrue.
“This story is 100% false,” said Kristina Schake, director of communications for the first lady.
The story did originate with the Sunday Telegraph article.
The Daily Mail, however, did attempt to get a comment from the company:
Agent Provocateur has refused to issue comment on whether any of the claims were true or false.
A spokesman for the label said only: 'Agent Provocateur declines to comment regarding celebrity and VIP customers.'
The Daily Mail also ads a picture (somewhat blurred) of the actual store front on Madison Avenue:
The next part of the story will likely involve the parsing of the denial.
When the White House says, "100% false," does that mean the First Lady never went shopping at the controversial store?
Or just that she didn't spend $50,000?
White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about the lingerie story today.
Q: Jay, many people have heard the rumors about the First Lady's purchases in New York. I know it's British tabloids, but can you help us squash this rumor? In light of other -
MR. CARNEY: Neal, I'm shocked that you're the one to ask this question. But let me just answer and say that, at least when I was a reporter, usually the standard for British tabloid reporting was the assumption that it was false. In this case, it's utterly false, and it's irresponsible of an American news organization to repeat the story, even allowing that it could be true. So it's wrong.
Q: Can you provide some evidence that it's wrong? Because I'd hate to print some incorrect information.
MR. CARNEY: I'm sorry, can you provide - I'm not going to go there, Neal. It's false.