Self-serving Presidents are nothing new. There was a time when President John F Kennedy made sure he got a consignment of 1200 Cuban cigars, then promptly signed the Cuban trade embargo.
JFK was a renowned cigar smoker, and it turns out he took additional measures to make sure he was stocked up before he dramatically cut off trade with the Cubans.
He asked his head of press to go get him 1000 Petit Upmanns. Pierre Salinger went above and beyond, securing 1200 before the embargo went into force.
Salinger first told this story to Cigar Aficionado magazine in 1992.
“The next morning, I walked into my White House office at about 8 am, and the direct line from the President’s office was already ringing. He asked me to come in immediately,” said Salinger. “He took out a long paper which he immediately signed. It was the decree banning all Cuban products from the United States. Cuban cigars were now illegal in our country.”
It’s hardly Watergate, but it is interesting to see how the President made sure he had a supply of his beloved Cuban cigars before preventing his countrymen doing the same.