This Is NOT a Photo of Obama Holding Cigarettes, White House Says
Many political watchers suspect that this is a photo of President Obama getting back to his old smoking habits.
The picture below shows Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi talking during the G7 summit.
It certainly looks like the president has a pack of cigarettes in his right hand and is reaching for one with his left hand.
The picture was posted on Renzi's Instagram page. But the White House is denying that Obama was holding a pack of cigarettes.
Correspondent April Ryan pressed Josh Earnest (watch above) Wednesday on the photo, pointing out that the object appears to be the same size as a pack of cigarettes.
“I told you it’s not cigarettes. Let’s move on," he said, adding he did not ask the president what he was holding in the photo.
In 2009, Obama said he had kicked the habit, but conceded that "there are times where I mess up."
The president was caught on a hot mic in 2013 telling someone that he no longer smokes because he's "scared" of his wife.