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ABC Denies Secret Obama Appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

ABC is denying that President Obama is booked to appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” during his trip to Los Angeles this week, when he is scheduled to raise money for the Democratic National Committee and visit a local community college to deliver a speech on job training.

TMZ reported that Obama would come to his Hollywood studio to tape a special segment. But an ABC spokeswoman said that the report “is inaccurate and he is not booked on the show.” Kimmel’s reps also issued a denial, and said that Obama not taping a special segment for the show.

An Obama appearance on “Kimmel” would not be out of the ordinary for late night. Obama has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

Obama’s schedule for his visit to Los Angeles includes a fundraiser at the home on “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes on Wednesday evening, with tickets starting at $1,000 per person and “Scandal” star Kerry Washington among the special guests. He’ll stay overnight in Los Angeles and, on Thursday, is scheduled to trek to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to deliver remarks on “the importance of job-driven skills training, particularly for fast-growing sectors such as health care,” according to the White House. He also is scheduled to attend a fund raiser that same day at the home of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino.

Update: TMZ is standing by its sourcing, including LAPD sources who say that Obama is due to be at the El Capitan, where Kimmel is taped, at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Was there an appearance scheduled at some point, only to be cancelled? There’s lots of speculation that that is just what happened, as the White House grapples with the crisis in Gaza and the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine. Appearing on a late-night talk show would have been poor “optics,” to use a buzzword.

Another update: A spokeswoman for Kimmel says, “The President’s team had been speaking with the show’s producers, exploring the possibility of him doing the show while the President was in LA. It didn’t work out for this trip but the show looks forward to hosting the President as a guest in the future.”
 

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