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WH Assistant Chef Says He's Getting 'Cut' Because of Sequester -- or Is He?

AP

AP

The same day that President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle marked the 10th installment of their "In Performance at the White House" series with a Memphis soul concert, White House assistant chef Sam Kass indicated that he would be furloughed over government budget cuts. Or did he?

Kass, who prepares dinner for Obama several nights a week and also serves as his senior nutrition policy adviser made the statement Tuesday during a White House press conference with agriculture journalists, but seemed ambiguous

"We're being furloughed. Shin and I are getting cut," Kass said.

Kass was referring to Shin Inouye, the West Wing communications staffer charged with taking care of "specialty media."  Eddie Gehman Kohan, who blogs about White House food initiatives, noted that when pressed to confirm if he is indeed being furloughed, Kass became evasive, stating, "I don't know."

"We have a budget meeting...in the briefing room is all I can say," Inouye interjected.

Meanwhile Michelle Obama's East Wing Press Secretary, Hannah August, declined to confirm whether Kass is being furloughed.

"Don’t have any other details to provide," August said in an email.

To now, Kohan notes that Kass has been a paid member of the White House Residence staff but that he along with other domestic staffers do not appear on the administration's "Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff." 

The White House has announced that some 480 workers on the budget staff may have to take days without pay but hasn't said whether notices have gone out to other Obama aides.

Kass also plants the White House garden and is the director of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign . He said that initiative won't be affected by budget cuts.

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