State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed Monday that Andrew W.K. has been uninvited to appear at an event in Bahrain, a move that would have been sponsored by the U.S. government in some capacity.
Andrew W.K. is “blown away” that he will not be going on the trip.
MATT LEE: And then secondly, and this is kind of a bizarre. There’s a guy, an entertainer, who guys by the name of Andrew W.K., who says that he has been named, or appointed, by the State Department to be a cultural ambassador toappear at some event in Bahrain. Do you know anything about this?
VICTORIA NULAND: And here I thought we were going to get through this whole briefingwithout that coming up.
LEE: Oh you do.. is it true? You have something?
NULAND: I do have a little something on this. So we had a Bahraini entity approach the embassy about cosponsoring a visit by the guy who I take it is pretty popular in Bahrain. That was initially approved and then when more senior management at the embassy took a look at this, the conclusion was that this was not an appropriate use of U.S. government funds.
LEE: Is that…the government would have paid for his trip over there had it, he had a visit?
NULAND: I don’t know what the details of our sponsorship were to be.
LEE: Can you explain why …it was decided it was inappropriate to send someone over there, to Bahrain, to represent the United States, whose hits include, you know, “Party till you Puke” and things like that? Is that why it was decided it was inappropriate?
NULAND: Thank you for sharing that.
LEE: No. Is that why?
NULAND: I think the conclusion was when they looked at the body of his work that we didn’t need to be part of this invitation.
LEE: Gotcha. Hold on. Just to make clear. The invitation was never actually extended to him?
NULAND: Frankly, I don’t have the details. There may have been some preliminary discussion with him, but he is not going to be to Bahrain on the U.S. government’s dime.