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White House balks at cost, mother’s agenda for Michelle’s Italy, London trip

The White House Friday rebuffed questions about the cost of Michelle Obama’s trip with her mother and daughters to Italy and England next week and also wouldn’t provide the agenda for Sasha and Malia or Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson.

“I don’t have anything I can give you on that,” said the first lady’s chief of staff, Tina Tchen.

According to the White House, the four are taking their summer vacation to England and Italy to address issues including kid health and education.

Costs of the first families 39 lavish vacations have come under fire and a reporter Friday asked about the money involved and the agenda of the first lady’s family. She hit a stone wall.

Q — Hi. Thank you. I know a lot of times when the First Lady does these trips a lot of media outlets try to estimate the cost of the trip, and I know that the White House is usually reluctant to give a price. But a lot of times those estimates can be very high, and I think a lot of times they get that from just estimating the costs of staying in some of these places. Is there anything you can do to talk about cost and maybe whether or not those estimates are on base? I mean, is the First Lady and her mother and daughters, and everyone who goes along with her, are they paying the full price to stay at all of these hotels? Or is there anything you can give us on what a cost of a trip like this may be?

MS. TCHEN: Actually, Julie, I don’t have anything I can give you on that.


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