Michelle Obama reveals why she was ‘uncontrollably sobbing’ after Donald Trump’s inauguration
Michelle Obama has reflected on former US President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day and revealed why she was sobbing after it.
The former first lady discussed her and her husband’s, former President Barack Obama, time in the White House during the first and upcoming episode of Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast.
In a clip of the podcast episode shared by People, Obama explained why Trump’s Inauguration Day in 2017 was “so emotional”, as she, her spouse, and their daughters, Malia, now 24, and Sasha, now 21, were officially moving out of their house.
“We were leaving the home we had been in for eight years, the only home our kids really knew,” she explained. “They remembered Chicago but they had spent more time in the White House than anywhere, so we were saying goodbye to the staff and all the people who helped to raise them.”
After pointing out the “tears” that she had about leaving the White House, she went on to discuss Trump’s inauguration and the lack of diversity she noticed during it.
“To sit on that stage and watch the opposite of what we represented on display,” Obama continued. “There was no diversity, there was no colour on that stage. There was no reflection of the broader sense of America.”
She said that her peers noticed her feelings at the event, adding: “Many people took pictures of me and they’re like, ‘You weren’t in a good mood?’ No, I was not! But you had to hold it together like you do for eight years.”
Obama proceeded to recall the process of leaving the White House with her family. She also spoke about the crowd in Washington DC that day and poked fun at Trump’s previous claims that he had the largest presidential inauguration audience in history. In 2018, it was revealed that the photos from the event were edited to make the crowds look larger after an intervention from the former president.
“You walk through the Capitol, you wave goodbye, you get on Marine One, and you take your last flight flying over the Capitol,” she said. “Where there weren’t that many people there, we saw it by the way.”
She then revealed that once she got on her Air Force One flight, that was when she began “sobbing”.
“When those doors shut, I cried for 30 minutes straight, uncontrollable sobbing, because that’s how much we were holding it together for eight years,” Obama explained.
Obama’s husband has previously opened up about Trump’s Inauguration and how he felt about it. During an interview with Prince Harry in 2017, the 44th US president expressed how grateful he was for his wife on that day.
“The first thing that went through my mind was, sitting across from Michelle, how thankful I was that she had been my partner through that whole process,” he said about the 2017 event, viaThe Atlantic. “She is not someone who was naturally inclined to politics, so despite the fact that she was as good of a First Lady as there has ever been, she did this largely in support of my decision to run.”
While he also acknowledged that he had mixed feelings about leaving office, “with all of the work that was still undone and the concerns about how the country moves forward,” he still felt “there was a serenity there more than [he] would have expected.”
Over the years, the former first lady has recalled some of the fond memories she’d had in the White House, such as birthday celebrations with her family, which included her mother Marian Robinson.
“My mom used to bake homemade cakes for us for our birthdays and that was part of our birthday,” she said, during an appearance onThe Drew Barrymore Show in October. “And my mom even did this when she lived with us in the White House.”