During a visit with French President Francois Hollande at Monticello in Charlottesville, Va., President Barack Obama reportedly quipped, “That’s the good thing as a president, I can do whatever I want.”
President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande walk to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Per the official pool report:
At 4:45 POTUS and president Hollande walked out from a portico and strolled in Front of your pool with Leslie Bowman, president of the Monticello Foundation. Looking at a terrace she said that Jefferson loved to admire the landscape from there. POTUS said that he'd like to take a look and seemed delighted to "break the protocol".
"That's the good thing as a President, I can do whatever I want" he quipped, walking to the terrace with his guest and Ms. Bowman. Pool now in the mansion as the leaders will come and visit Jefferson's study.
The White House will likely insist that Obama made the comment in a strictly joking manner and only about the prospect of breaking "protocol" at Monticello. Ironically, the pool report came at around the same time it was revealed that the White House plans to unilaterally delay the Obamacare mandate for some businesses.
Lawmakers have argued that the White House's decision to unilaterally delay parts of Obamacare represents a violation of the Constitution.
President Hollande is in the U.S. on a state visit.
(H/T: Weekly Standard)
UPDATE: Fox News has the video of President Obama's joke: