The White House won’t comment on reports that first daughter Malia Obama is working as a production assistant for director Steven Spielberg.
The teenager was spotted on the Los Angeles set of Halle Berry‘s TV series “Extant,” described as an upcoming CBS science fiction show produced by Spielberg, an enthusiastic Obama donor.
According to TheWrap, President Barack Obama’s eldest “helped with computer shop alignments and the director also let her slate a take.”
The article said Malia laughed with delight saying, “My first time. This is a big deal.”
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But the White House says to protect the Obama girls’ privacy, it only talks about them when they’re appearing in public with their parents.
“So I’m going to try and live up to that principle.. and not comment on those reports,” spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters as Obama flew back to DC from California aboard Air Force One.
Reporters pressed, arguing that “It’s not like an internship with no one you’ve ever heard of. It’s Steven Spielberg.’
Earnest was unmoved.
“I’ve seen the reports, and again, the line that we draw is related to the two daughters being involved in public activities with their parents,” Earnest said.
He noted that the White House had confirmed that Malia spent the weekend in California with her parents and youngest daughter, Sasha, did not, because it was a public presidential visit.
“But in terms of what Malia and Sasha are up to when their parents aren’t around is not something I’m just going to be in a position to get into,” Earnest said.
Reporters have generally stayed clear of covering the two girls and Earnest said the first couple was “genuinely appreciative of the respect that the White House press corps has shown to their daughters and the privacy that’s been afforded to them, even in a pretty competitive media environment.
“I am appreciative of that,” Earnest said. “I’m not suggesting that questions along these lines, based on public reports, are somehow illegitimate or unfair. I’m just saying that I’m not going to talk about them.”
The White House had said Saturday that Obama and first lady Michelle Obama would spend Father's Day in Palm Springs with Malia.
The two girls have kept a low profile, but got a bump in visibility before the 2012 election campaign, starring in remarks by their father, appearing in a campaign video celebrating Father’s Day and in a campaign ad that aired in seven battleground states.
Obama last month was awarded the U.S.C. Shoah Foundation's Ambassador for Humanity Award by Spielberg at a dinner in California.