Though First Lady Michelle Obama was not exactly President-elect Donald Trump’s biggest advocate on the campaign trail, she said in an exit interview that she intends to help the incoming president and his family in any way she can, in an effort to put aside their differences for the good of the country.
“[President Barack Obama and I] are going to be there for the next president and do whatever we have to do to make sure that he is successful,” Obama told Oprah Winfrey in a CBS piece that aired on Dec. 19. “Because if he succeeds, we all succeed.”
The first lady said that when she met with her successor, Melania Trump, at the White House, she expressed no hard feelings. Obama said she told Melania that she and President Obama “will do whatever they need to help them succeed,” and that “the door is open” should she ever need her advice.
“The words that we say moving forward — all of us, it matters, which is one of the reasons Barack and I are so supportive of this transition, because no matter how we felt going into it, it is important for the health of this nation that we support the commander-in-chief,” she added. “Wasn’t done when my husband took office, but we’re going high and this is what’s best for the country.”
The president and first lady’s rhetoric welcoming the Trump family and advocating a peaceful transition of power marks a different tone than that which they demonstrated while campaigning for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. After the Obamas endorsed the former secretary of state, they frequently and vocally criticized Trump on the campaign trail during the mutually contentious election.
“We [need a president] who is steady and measured, because when making life-or-death, war-or-peace decisions, a president can’t just pop off or lash out irrationally,” Michelle said at an October campaign event for Clinton, according to The Associated Press. “And I think we can all agree that someone who’s roaming around at 3 a.m. tweeting should not have their fingers on the nuclear codes.”
But since the election, Obama told Winfrey that she and her husband are “going high,” and treating the Trumps with the same warmth the Bush family showed them.
Sources: CNN, The Associated Press/Twitter / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr