White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Monday dismissed reporters' questions about a star-studded White House party featuring the likes of Prince and Stevie Wonder that wasn't announced to the public.
Earnest said it was a private event paid for by the Obamas, and joked that the press corps was worked up because they weren't invited.
“Nobody else in here was invited either. There appears to be some angst about that,” Earnest said. “I think the fact that we are talking about a private event, paid for by the president and the first lady that occurred in their own home Saturday night, I think most people would recognize that understandably as a private event."
A reported 500 people scored invites to the private two-hour Prince performance, which included a duet with Wonder for his "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," according to Page Six.
The White House will not release a copy of the guest list, which was reported to include former Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, lobbyists and celebrities Connie Britton, Tracee Ellis Ross, Angela Basset and Tyler Perry.
Earnest argued that the questions he was getting is evidence of the transparency of the Obama White House.
“The fact that we are talking about a private event and the fact that details are known is an indication the president is committed to being transparent,” Earnest said. “At the same time the president and first lady can reserve the right to host private parties at the White House. They did it on their own dime. I think that’s consistent with the kind of values they’ve talked about.”
While Earnest was tight-lipped about the revelry, word had spread rapidly on social media, including by the Rev. Al Sharpton tweeting that seeing Prince and Stevie Wonder was “unbelievable.”
Leaving the White House party w/POTUS and FLOTUS. Awesome to see Prince and Stevie Wonder on keyboards together. Unbelievable experience.— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) June 14, 2015
"Selma" director Ava DuVernay tweeted about "Prince. Stevie. POTUS + FLOTUS" and the "massive amounts of dancing."
A photo posted by Ava DuVernay (@directher) on