President Barack Obama has a sore throat and went to Walter Reed military hospital for testing, the White House said on Saturday.

"Given that the president has free time in his schedule this afternoon, Dr. Jackson, the president's physician, recommended he go to Walter Reed for some diagnostic tests," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

"According to Dr. Jackson, the quickly scheduled test is a matter of convenience for the president, not a matter of urgency."