Obama on White House life: A 'very nice prison'

Former President Obama has compared life in the White House to a "very nice prison."

He made the comment on Tuesday during a Q&A session with his former White House chef Sam Kass at the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy.

After Kass asked him what he doesn't miss about the White House, Obama initially laughed and joked, "Well, that's a long list."

He then said, "The hardest thing about being the President of the United States is it is unique in its isolation."

See images from the event:

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Obama at The Global Food Innovation Summit
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Obama at The Global Food Innovation Summit
MILAN, ITALY - MAY 09: Former US President Barack Obama thanks the audience during the Seeds&Chips Global Food Innovation Summit on May 9, 2017 in Milan, Italy. The summit, which runs from May 8 until May 11, focuses on food innovation and discusses the urgent challenges faced by the food and farming industry. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves after speaking at the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves after speaking at the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
Former U.S. President Barack Obama gestures as he talks during the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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Obama explained, "In part, because of the security apparatus around a U.S. president, you live in what's called 'the bubble.' And it is a very nice prison. So you don't have the freedom of movement to be able to just take a walk or to sit in a cafe because there's always this security concern around you. I don't miss that."

He added, "Now I'm only captive to selfies...which is almost as bad. I can walk anywhere as long as I'm willing to take a selfie every two steps."

His wife Michelle Obama had also previously talked about the confinement of White House life; during a joint appearance with fellow former first lady Laura Bush in 2013, Mrs. Obama was asked in an interview if she ever felt like a prisoner.

She gave the lighthearted response, "No, there are prison elements to it. But it's a really nice prison."

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