Taxpayers paid for President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama to fly separately Thursday to Los Angeles, where they appeared on separate TV talk shows on the same day.
Mr. Obama flew on Air Force One, which costs about $228,000 per hour of flight time, to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Obama flew on a different plane Thursday across country to Burbank, California, to tape an appearance on Ellen Degeneres’ show. That show will be broadcast on Monday.
White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters Friday that the president and first lady’s “schedules were not in sync in order to travel together.”
“I’m not even sure they overlapped,” he said when asked if the president and first lady saw each other in southern California Thursday.
Mr. Obama flew Friday morning from Los Angeles to Phoenix, where he was visiting the veterans’ hospital that sparked a scandal in health care services last year. He was scheduled to return to Washington late Friday.
It was Mrs. Obama’s fourth appearance on the “Ellen” show. She is promoting the fifth anniversary of her initiative to combat childhood obesity.
The show’s producers released video Friday of the segment, which includes Mrs. Obama and Ms. DeGeneres performing a high-energy dance with a troupe of backup dancers.
“There is some hip thrusting,” the first lady said after the microphone battery pack clipped to her waist came undone as they began the routine. “There’s a lot of it.”
Mrs. Obama’s office had not previously announced that she would be in California on Thursday.
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