Michelle Obama fed her husband’s feud with Donald Trump on Friday as she gave a gloomy description of the hopeless climate his election win has created.
The First Lady used her final interview in the White House to tell Oprah Winfrey that a ‘grown up’ should be in charge of the country.
Looking forward to president-elect Trump’s looming inauguration, she said even though hope was lost, it was necessary to move on.
‘Now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary,’ she said in her first direct response to the November 9 election result.
Mrs Obama’s remarks come within hours of her husband’s announcement Russian hackers interfered with the election to help his successor.
Trump, who is yet to accept the DNC hack was orchestrated by one of Putin’s agencies, undermined the announcement on Twitter.
In her interview with Oprah, the First Lady said the president needs to be someone ‘who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil: “hey, it’s gonna be ok”‘.
She said she was assured her husband had achieved his goal of setting a hope-fueled agenda because of the contrasting mood brought by Trump’s victory.
‘Your husband’s administration, everything, the election, was all about hope. Do you think that this administration achieved that?’ asked Winfrey.
In a lengthy reply, Mrs Obama said calmly: ‘Yes. I do. Because we feel the difference now.
‘Now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept.
‘What else do you have if you don’t have hope?’
In a glowing assessment of her husband’s tenure, Mrs Obama likened him to the calming parent of the panicked toddler nation.
‘Our children respond to crisis the way they see us respond. You know, it’s like the toddler bumps his head on the table and they look up at you to figure out whether it hurts and if you’re like (gasp) “oh my god” they’re crying but if you’re like “you know what, babe it’s OK”…
‘And I feel that way about the nation, I feel that Barack has been that for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate.
‘Having a grown up in the White House who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil : “hey, it’s gonna be ok”, let’s remember the good things that we have, let’s look to the future, let’s look at what we’re building” – all of this is important for our kids to stay focused and to feel like their work isn’t in vain and their lives aren’t in vain.
‘What do we do if we don’t have hope, Oprah?
The one-on-one took place ahead of the first family’s departure from The White House to Hawaii where they will enjoy a two-week Christmas break.
Mrs Obama is an unusually popular figure in America’s political landscape, with a favorability rating, measured by Gallup at 64%, that is significantly higher than that of Mr Trump, Mrs Clinton, and her husband.
It will be shown on CBS on December 19 at 8pm.