During his trip to Germany this week for the G7 Summit, President Barack Obama was caught on camera standing out on a balcony with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with an object in his hand that many have speculated is a pack of cigarettes. Otherwise, why would they possibly be standing outside? (a conspiracy theorist might think).
The controversy reached the White House Press Briefing on Thursday when the American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan asked Josh Earnest, “Can you tell us — is the president, does he have a pack of cigarettes in his hand?”
“He does not,” Earnest said in response, though he was unable to clarify what the mysterious object was. “You may not be surprised to hear that I have not raised this issue with the president today,” he added.
When Ryan continued to press the issue, arguing that — though she herself is not a smoker — the object appears to have a similar size and shape of a cigarette pack, Earnest shut it down. “I told you it’s not — that they aren’t cigarettes, so let’s move on,” he said.
President Obama has been trying to quit smoking for years and in 2013 was caught on mic joking that he hadn’t “had a cigarette in probably six years” because “I’m scared of my wife.” But when he’s surrounded by Europeans, all bets might be off.
Watch video below, via C-SPAN3
[Photo via screengrab]
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