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Obama Chef Backpedals on Whether He’s Being Furloughed

Image: Obama Chef Backpedals on Whether He’s Being Furloughed 2012 photo of First Lady Michelle Obama, right, and White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass tasting food in Dallas.

By Greg Richter   |  

The White House assistant chef who told reporters he was being furloughed as part of sequester budget cuts put that claim on the back-burner when quizzed by reporters.

Sam Kass, in addition to cooking meals for the Obamas five nights a week, also serves as director of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” exercise campaign and plants the White House garden. He was widely reported as having told reporters Tuesday that he will be furloughed.

But Eddie Gehman Kohan, who was at the meeting and blogs about White House food and nutrition initiatives at Obama Foodorama, said Kass seemed to be joking when he made the comment about himself and communications staffer Shin Inouye.

When pressed by reporters whether he actually was being furloughed, Kass said, “I don’t know.”

Inouye wouldn’t comment except to say, “I would refer you to what Jay said in the briefing room about furloughs. That’s all I can say.”

Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week that several departments within the Executive Office of the President had sent out furlough notices, but he didn’t specify which ones.

“Additional furloughs, as well as pay cuts, remain possibilities for additional White House employees,” he added.

Mrs. Obama’s Press Secretary Hannah August, whom Kohan described as the point person for all inquiries related to Kass, declined to comment on Kass’ status, Kohan reported.

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The White House assistant chef who told reporters he was being furloughed as part of sequester budget cuts put that claim on the back-burner when quizzed by reporters.
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