First Lady Michelle Obama won the Internet on Monday, when she appeared to roll her eyes disapprovingly at a conversation her husband was having with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) at the Inauguration Day luncheon.
Her expressive look led CBS’ “Insider Edition” to delve deeper into the story, seeking out a lip reader who could provide some insight into what Boehner could have said that went over so poorly with Michelle Obama.
The expert’s conclusion, from “Inside Edition”:
So what was said? We asked expert lip reader Larry Wenig. Wenig believes John Boehner is asking President Obama whether he had a chance to have a cigarette before the luncheon.
Wenig told “Inside Edition” that Boehner — a known smoker — tapped the first lady on the arm before telling the president that “somebody won’t let you do it,” referring to Michelle Obama.
The president’s smoking habit was a topic of some scrutiny at points during his first term, though his wife claimed in early 2011 that he’d kicked the habit a year earlier. A subsequent physical exam appeared to confirm her claim, though Obama’s gum-chewing during the inaugural parade set off speculation that he could be curbing a nicotine craving.
The Hill has since reached out to Boehner’s camp, which has rejected Wenig’s reading of the brief conversation, calling it “not true.”
The UK’s DailyMail also reached out to three other lip-reading experts, who claimed the details of exchange were too hard to decipher.