Michelle Obama shared some candid reflections Monday on the current state of the White House, calling out President Donald Trump for his refusal to concede the election and take part in a peaceful transition of power to President-Elect Joe Biden.
The former first lady shared her poignant thoughts on Instagram along with a snapshot of herself and President Barack Obama on Trump’s Inauguration Day in 2017.
“This week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on where I was four years ago. [Hillary] Clinton had just been dealt a tough loss by a far closer margin than the one we’ve seen this year. I was hurt and disappointed — but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won. The American people had spoken,” she began.
Obama explained that “one of the great responsibilities of the presidency” is to listen when the American people speak and recalled that she and her husband had instructed their staffs to “run a respectful, seamless transition of power — one of the hallmarks of American democracy.”
“We invited the folks from the president-elect’s team into our offices and prepared detailed memos for them, offering what we’d learned over the past eight years,” she wrote.
Obama admitted that none of that was “easy” for her, as Trump had “spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger.”
“That wasn’t something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside. So I welcomed Melania Trump into the White House and talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had — from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it’s like to raise kids in the White House,” she wrote, adding that it was the “right thing to do” as “democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego.”
The Chicago native went on to say that “our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don’t like them or wish it had gone differently — the presidency doesn’t belong to any one individual or any one party.”
“To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories — whether for personal or political gain — is to put our country’s health and security in danger,” she said, before concluding with:
“This isn’t a game. So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.”
Obama’s remarks came on the heels of her husband telling NPR in an interview that aired on Monday that Trump is simply “denying reality.”
Barack Obama also called the current president’s unwillingness to take part in the transition to Biden’s White House “yet one more example of how Donald Trump’s breach of basic democratic norms is hurting the American people.”
Despite the election having been called for Biden earlier this month, Trump has not yet conceded. He has also spent the better part of the last two weeks going on Twitter tirades in which he has erroneously claimed that he won and that the Democrats have “stolen” the election.