Obama smoking? President caught on camera holding ‘pack of cigarettes’
President Obama, who claimed when he first entered the White House to have mostly kicked his nicotine habit, might have been caught on camera holding a pack of cigarettes.
The commander in chief is seen clutching a white object in a snapshot with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi posted Sunday on Instagram by Renzi’s spokesman.
Obama and Renzi were both in Germany attending the G-7 summit.
Several social media users questioned whether Obama was holding cigarettes in the pic, with one writing, “Smoking?”
The White House did not immediately respond to ITK’s request for comment on the photo and the last time President Obama had had a cigarette.
It’s not the first time Obama’s claims of being mostly nicotine-free have been questioned.
In November, ITK broke the story that Obama invited Billy Joel to have a smoke at the White House with him.
According to a source who spoke with Joel, Obama said to the “Piano Man” singer during Joel’s 2013 White House visit, “I’m going out on the North Portico to have a smoke. Do you want to come with me?”
Obama said in 2009 that he “constantly” struggles with cigarettes.
“Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No,” he said at the news conference.
“I would say that I am 95 percent cured,” Obama said, “But there are times where … There are times where I mess up.”
Obama was heard on an open mic at a 2013 event saying it was Michelle Obama who “scared” him into quitting smoking.
“I haven’t had a cigarette in six years,” the president said. “That’s because I’m scared of my wife.”
UPDATE (2:32 p.m., June 10):
The White House said Wednesday that Obama is not holding a pack of cigarettes in the photo.
When asked if Obama has a pack of cigarettes in his hand in the photo, spokesman Josh Earnest answered, “He does not.”