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White House: ‘They Aren’t Cigarettes’

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest assured reporters Wednesday that a viral photo of the president on Instagram does not show him holding cigarettes. The president was speaking with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and appears to be holding a small square object in his hand. Earnest said definitively it was not a pack of cigarettes, but said he did not know what the object was. “Y And now on the next subject, there seems to be a picture that’s going around, making the news, with President Obama meeting with the Italian prime minister. And he has something in his hand. And there’s a lot of question about what this white thing is in his hand. Can you tell us, is the president — does he have a pack of cigarettes in his hand? He does not. What was it? I don’t know, April. I wasn’t there. But… I understand. But I mean, did he tell you what it was? No, I — look… (inaudible)… You may — you may not be surprised to hear that I have not raised this issue with the president today. OK. Well, the president, as you’ve acknowledged, he reads media reports and it’s everywhere, this picture with him holding… I’m not sure that’s the way I’d describe it. It is on the Web. Check it out. (LAUGHTER) I have. Well, I mean, it is the size — I’m not a smoker, but the sizing looks like and it — I mean — so I mean, so you’re saying… I told you it’s not — they aren’t cigarettes. Let’s move on.

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