President Obama Tells Savannah Guthrie He Doesn't Eat Just 7 Almonds a Night
"All my friends were calling up and they're saying, 'You know, this seems a little anal. This is kind of weird.' And I had to explain to them, no, this was a joke," he said.
President Barack Obama wants to clear up a big misconception about him: The commander-in-chief does, in fact, allow himself more than seven almonds as a late-night snack.
A July 2 story in The New York Times about Obama's late-night routine got a lot of attention for a quote from Sam Kass, the Obama family's former personal chef, who said the president's late-night snack consisted of only seven lightly salted almonds.
"Michelle [Obama] and I would always joke: Not six. Not eight," Kass was quoted as saying. "Always seven almonds."
But in a sitdown with Savannah Guthrie that aired on NBC News' Today, Obama set the record straight, saying Kass was actually joking.
"This is an example of the weird way that the press works," he said, smiling. "So Michelle and Sam Kass, who was our chef here, one night they were talking about me and teasing me about how disciplined I was, that I didn't have potato chips or I didn’t have a piece of cake. And this is when Michelle said, 'Yes, and he just has seven almonds. That's it.' To really drive home the point that I needed to loosen up a little bit. And Sam relayed this joke to The New York Times in the article and somehow it was relayed as if I was counting out … the seven almonds."
Obama added that even his friends were asking him about the report.
"All my friends were calling up and they're saying, 'You know, this seems a little anal. This is kind of weird.' And I had to explain to them, no, this was a joke," he continued.
Adding that "almonds are a good snack, I highly recommend them," the president quipped: "I am so glad I had this opportunity [to set the record straight]. … This has been really weighing on me."
Watch the interview below.