WASHINGTON -- First lady Michelle Obama challenged assertions she's forcefully imposed her will on White House aides, saying she's tired of people portraying her as "some kind of angry black woman."
"I guess it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and--you know? But that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman," she said to CBS' Gayle King.
Mrs. Obama told CBS News she hasn't read New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor's new book, which characterizes her as a behind-the-scenes force in the Executive Mansion whose strong views often draw her into conflict with President Barack Obama's top advisers.
She said she cares deeply about her husband and that is "one of his biggest confidants." But Mrs. Obama also said she doesn't read books about "other people's impressions of people."
"I never read these books. There are so many books that have my picture on the cover, my name on it, I don't even know what's going on," she said. "Who can write about how I feel? What third person can tell me about how I feel?"
Kantor writes, "Michelle and Rahm Emanuel had almost no bond; their relationship was distant and awkward from the beginning. She had been skeptical of him when he was selected, and now he returned the favor; he was uneasy about first ladies in general, several aides close to him said, based on clashes with Hillary Clinton in the 1990s that became so severe that she had tried to fire him from her husband's administration."
Asked specifically about an assertion of dissension between herself and then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, she says she's has "never had a cross word" with him.
She added that Emanuel and his wife are "some of our dearest friends."