Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey in an interview airing Monday night that the past election was “painful” to watch and she didn’t learn Donald Trump had won until the next morning, when she looked at the result on her phone.
“This past election was challenging for me as a citizen,” the Chicago-born first lady told Oprah, who gained fame as a talk show host in the same city. “To watch and experience. It was painful.”
During the campaign, Obama spoke out against Trump’s coarse, predatory talk about women. She told Winfrey that in light of the reaction from her daughters and female staffers, she knew she had to give a “different kind of response.”
Asked whether she would ever run for office, the first lady reiterated what she’s often said: no.
“People don’t really understand how hard this is,” she said. “And it’s not something that you cavalierly just sort of ask a family to do again.”
Other highlights from the interview with Winfrey:
- Her mother, Marian Robinson, will return to Chicago at the end of the term. But as Barack and Michelle Obama remain in Washington to let their younger daughter, Sasha, finish high school, Robinson will return to help when needed.
- Talking about her teen daughters, Obama said teenagers as a rule “start to bristle against all kinds of authority” and noted that coming of age in the White House has challenges."Imagine being 18, 17, 16, 15, and you’ve got at least eight men with guns driving you around,” she said. “Walking into your parties. You know, not letting you ride in friends’ cars. I mean, there were those tensions, for sure, that we had to sort of work through."
- Obama said her greatest achievement was letting young women, particularly African-Americans, see “somebody educated, strong (and) outspoken, just seeing that on a regular basis.”
At one point during the interview, President Barack Obama walked in. He was vague when asked where the couple is going after he departs office.
“We’re going someplace warm. See ya,” he tells Winfrey.
Winfrey invited Michelle Obama to accompany her on some glamorous camping, or “glamping” trips.
“I agree. I’m down,” the first lady said. “We can promote the national parks. Yosemite is beautiful. We’re on.”
The program airs at 7 p.m. Monday on CBS. It will be rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Wednesday on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.