A New York Times story on how President Barack Obama spends his nighttime hours lit up Twitter when it was published last month.
Many people called attention to the detail that Obama supposedly eats exactly seven almonds as a snack every night, as he doesn’t rely on coffee or tea to fuel him.
But Obama has now debunked the anecdote as a joke that the Times took seriously.
He told the “Today” show that while he does like to snack on almonds, he doesn’t obsessively count them out every night.
“So Michelle and Sam Kass, who is 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 that I didn’t have a piece of cake,” Obama said. “And this is when Michelle said, ‘And he just has seven almonds, that’s it.'”
This joke was then relayed to a Times reporter, who wrote: “To stay awake, the president does not turn to caffeine. He rarely drinks coffee or tea, and more often has a bottle of water next to him than a soda. His friends say his only snack at night is seven lightly salted almonds.”
Obama said he got a lot of phone calls from confused friends after the story ran.
“All my friends were calling me up and saying this seems a little anal, this is a little weird, and I had to explain to them, no, this was a joke,” he said. “[B]ut you know, almonds are a good snack, though. I strongly recommend them.”
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