‘Men in Black’ moment: Will Smith and son Jaden get real with Pres. Obama

Meriah Doty

Will Smith and his son Jaden recently had a close encounter of the presidential kind.

While the Smiths were visiting President Barack Obama as part of Easter celebrations in April, Jaden, now 13, could not withhold a pressing question he had for the leader of the free world. Will Smith, who stars in "Men in Black 3" (in theaters May 25), explained during a recent interview with BBC Radio 1: "I was at the White House with my family and we were getting a tour and, you know, Barack and Michelle and Sasha and Malia... And it's me, Jada and the kids and we're walking through the White House. And the night before Jaden had said to me, 'Dad, I got to ask the president about the aliens.' I was like, 'Dude, no.' It's not cool. It's not cool. It's embarrassing."

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The Obamas led the Smiths to the Situation Room -- the White House's "nerve center" where Obama and his senior security team famously observed real-time updates during the U.S. mission that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Apparently the room inspired Jaden to strike out against his father's wishes: "...Jaden gets the look in his eyes and he leans over and says, 'Dad, what's my punishment?' And I was like, 'Jaden, do not.' And you know, Barack is talking about the Situation Room and Jaden says, 'Excuse me, Mr. President.' I was like, 'Hey, Barack, man…' And Barack said, 'Don't tell me.' And in perfect form, and this is why he's the president, and he stopped and looked at Jaden said, 'The aliens, right?'"

The president went on, according to Smith, saying: "'I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of extraterrestrials, but I can tell you if there had been a top-secret meeting and if there would have had to have been a discussion about it, it would have taken place in this room.'"

[Photos: 'Men in Black 3' movie stills]

Incidentally, the White House weighed in on the whole alien thing in September, saying in an official statement:

The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye.

The statement goes on to acknowledge that while the existence of alien life is probable, given the distances between stars and planets, it's highly unlikely we would ever make contact with extra terrestrials.

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