The Truth about Michelle Obama's Trip

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Ben Cohen
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The Republicans and the right wing media are having a hissy fit about Michelle Obama going to a European destination for her holiday because apparently everything the first lady does should have political undertones. The Independent clears up some of the myths:

* It's true the Obamas and their guests stayed at the five-star Villa Padierna hotel. But the choice was not theirs: their security attachment picked the location on protection grounds.

* Mrs Obama was reported to have attended a ball hosted by Antonio Banderas and Eva Longoria at the hotel; in fact, she went to dinner with friends.

* Some 40 friends were reported to have joined the Obamas. But in reality only two friends and their children came, paying some of their own costs. The father of one of the two recently died; Mrs Obama was unable to attend the funeral, and invited her on holiday as a gesture.

* The first lady did, indeed, eat gazpacho soup, turbot, and veal escalopes at lunch with the Spanish King and Queen. The group also had ice cream for dessert.