Michelle Obama: Donald Trump ‘spread racist lies’ & I still welcomed him into the WH

Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony

In this week’s Gossip with Celebitchy podcast, we talked a bit about how presidential Joe Biden has been ever since Election Night, and how crazy it is that the Republicans refuse to accept the election results. Donald Trump has not conceded. And President-Elect Biden has basically shrugged and said Trump is embarrassing himself. I made the point that Biden doesn’t have to act as his own attack dog now that he’s president. He can count on congressional Democrats to make the argument for him. And it looks like he’s counting on Michelle & Barack Obama to make the argument for him as well. During Barack Obama’s 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, Barry was asked about Trump’s failure to concede, and he said this:

“My advice to President Trump is: If you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing. A president is a public servant. They are temporary occupants of the office by design. And when your time is up, then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments.”

[From People]

God, remember when we had leaders who talked like this? Jeez, the past four years have felt like thirty years. But yeah, I don’t even think Barry went that hard on Trump, probably because Obama knows Trump isn’t listening and “put your country first” is not an argument which will land in TrumpWorld. So, I was surprised to see Michelle Obama wade into this conversation too, speaking in a very personal manner about transitions:

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. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do. So my husband and I instructed our staffs to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: 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.

I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me. Donald 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.

I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego. 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. 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.

[From MO’s Instagram]

Again, this isn’t an argument which will land for Donald Trump. But is that who this is for? I think this might be for Melania Trump, or Ivanka, or people of sense in the Republican caucus. It hurts me to think of Michelle having to put aside her contempt for these racist pigs and welcome them into the Obama White House. She’s basically like “if I had known pettiness and denial was an option…”

Barack Obama and Donald Trump arrive for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump

Barak Obama and Donald Trump arrive for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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23 Responses to “Michelle Obama: Donald Trump ‘spread racist lies’ & I still welcomed him into the WH”

  1. RoyalBlue says:

    Now that is maturity. Donald and Melania seem stuck in teenage spiteland.

  2. BlueSky says:

    As a black woman, I can relate to what she is saying. Black people are expected to put up with racist bullsh@t and then turn around and show grace and respect to people who would never give it to them.

    • Mignionette says:

      ^^^This. We’re just expected to get our hurts and be the bigger person. The resilience needed for that constant effort is next level.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      And some of the worst offenders are people who consider themselves allies to POC. I got into it with one self-proclaimed white woman ally on Facebook the other day after she urged Democrats to be kind, compassionate, and understanding to MAGAts, recognize that they are afraid, and try to find common ground. I retorted that this was not a trivial difference of opinion like Coke v. Pepsi or Duke v. UNC, and it was not my job to help them deal with their brainwashing and fears. I also pointed out that I would not try to bridge a gap when the other side has no intention of meeting me halfway and that she was basically asking abuse victims to overlook the past four years of hell. What really annoyed her as when I reminded her that her words reeked of the privilege she enjoys as a white woman who had not suffered and would never suffer nearly as much under the Cheeto Mussolini regime or from the vitriol of MAGAts and called her a crappy ally as a result. Sorry not sorry.

      Barack and Michelle are better people than I am, but I am glad these stories are coming out now. Time has a way of altering memories, and people need to be reminded exactly who Chump and Melanoma really are and always have been.

      • Charlie says:

        This conversation has me contemplating the contents of our next presidential library. I don’t think either Donald or Melania have the attention span to gather important documents, records or books (hah). I see a gold plated hall with blood red Christmas trees, fallen Confederate statues, and big screens looping episodes of The Apprentice. And then I throw up a little in my mouth.

      • Cassandra says:

        @Charlie

        I doubt that library will ever be built.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I think one of the most insightful points John Oliver made on his election episode was that a lot of white Americans were saying minority voters saved the country – and they absolutely did – but he very bluntly pointed out that they didn’t do it as a favor to democracy. They did it because they were terrified of the consequences of another four years of Donald Trump; for them, it was literally about survival.

        Voters with more privilege who voted against Donald Trump need to remember that. They cannot forget or downplay exactly what the Republican party is now or what it could do again going forward.

      • Chaine says:

        @Charlie “The Donald Trump Presidential Library for Kids who Can’t Read Good”

    • Wow! Articulate, well-reasoned, and all about the country and the office. I’ve almost forgotten what civil discourse out of an American President sounds like! God, I love the Obamas. Nobody is perfect, but they own their faults and keep striving forward. I’ve pre-ordered Obama’s part 1 of his 2 book autobiography and can’t wait to dive in. George Washington was begged to not step down, but to rule for life. As he said then, we did not just fight a revolution to put another king on a throne. Trump is such a narcissist he thinks he was elected for life. I loved the one TV reporter who said, “Trump says he will have to be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House.” The reporter paused for a moment, looked directly into the camera and said, “I can live with that.”
      Hell…I’d pay money for a front row seat to watch that.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I remember thinking – both the time a few days after the election when Trump and Melania visited the White House, and on Inauguration Day – that both of them (the Obamas) were much better people than me. I can only imagine what she was feeling when she had to smile and greet those two.

  4. Darla says:

    Forcing the Obamas to do this was the biggest slap in the face the American people could give them, and white America gloried in forcing them to embrace their racist attackers. It makes me sick every time I think about it. And Melania is JUST as big a racist as her pig husband, don’t pretty that stank up. She stinks like a big pig just like him.

  5. Izzy says:

    I remember Inauguration Day four years ago, specifically when the Dumps arrived at the White House. It struck me how the Orange One didn’t even think to wait for his wife to go up the stairs, and President Obama did went to greet her instead. Because he has more class in his pinky finger than Donald could have bought with the money he’s squandered.

  6. SJ Knows says:

    B&M are adults, able to do their jobs with class, dignity, good manners.
    Unlike Mr. and Mrs. Orange Turd.

    Mrs. Orange Turd looks like she is a cos play Jackie Kennedy in these pics.

  7. equality says:

    I saw an article the other day showing MANY transitions into the White House and the ex-presidents involved all behaved professionally and courteously, even across party lines. And then we have Trump. The way that the Obamas phrased their quotes was perfect. No, it won’t reach Trump but maybe it will reach some Americans.

  8. Veronica S. says:

    She’s classy because she has to be, but I don’t, so I’m going to say that I hope she gets immense satisfaction watching that loser get dragged out of the White House come January.

  9. GrnieWnie says:

    To me, this is an illustration of how the existing system of governance actually perpetuates harmful behaviour. I could go on at length here. Basically, I learned in 2008 that American politics is only willing to tolerate leaders to the extent that they act white or male. If someone acts too female (e.g. Hillary Clinton getting vaguely teary), the GOP goes to town on how she’s too weak to lead and Democrats don’t respond. If someone acts too black (e.g. Obama inviting Common to the White House), the GOP goes to town on how he’s disrespecting the office and Democrats don’t respond. So there’s your status quo: there’s still no room in American politics for leaders who are too female or too black. Your success as a political candidate is predicated on your ability to act like a (straight, cisgender, etc.) white male.

    Within this system, you have someone like Obama who is disadvantaged by it but nonetheless finds astronomical success as he toes the line of whiteness. He is therefore invested in maintaining the system that has allowed him so much. He can’t really push back or undermine it. He has to tolerate its flaws in order to ensure the system keeps functioning. For example, he can’t really react the way he wants to when it comes to an event such as Trayvon Martin; he’ll be perceived as catering to black interests, which will foment a reaction from the right. He can only plead for empathy by delicately pointing out that Trayvon Martin could have been his son – Trayvon in proximity to Obama thus becomes humanized. But in reality, Trayvon Martin is an AMERICAN problem of AMERICAN interest. Obama SHOULD be able to point out that Trayvon Martin was a miscarriage of justice for ALL Americans, not just black Americans. He should be able to condemn the American people at large for tolerating this status quo.

    Let’s bring it around back to this post: here, the Obamas were forced to facilitate a transition for the Trumps who have no problem acting on racist ideology. And now, the Obamas are rightfully annoyed. THEY put their own interests aside to facilitate the ongoing function of the system. But Trump will not simply because he doesn’t have to. As a white male, HE has the autonomy and political support to do whatever the f*** he wants. He can undermine the system and…who cares? He’ll still find ample support in the American public, and most of the time that’ll prove sufficient to advance his personal interests. Trump gives no effs about systemic function because it doesn’t enable his success. He can side step it, undermine it, and turn it inside out because he’s a wealthy white man regardless. Obama, on the other hand, can’t.

    In sum, it all boils down to race and the fact that the American public refuses to acknowledge, confront, and dismantle their own racism. I like Michelle’s anger. It’s appropriate. She is invested in the system because it enables the success of all people like her. Trump is not because he doesn’t have to be. That’s the injustice right there, and anything less than anger just perpetuates it.

    • Larisa says:

      You just made an argument that it boils down to anything other than white men, and I’d add “straight white men”. So, it doesn’t just boil down to race, it boils down to race, gender, and probably other characteristics as well.

      • GrnieWnie says:

        Yes, race and gender are just the starting points (I edited to add others. Sorry – ever the academic, I can’t help but edit relentlessly). Any number of other characteristics can be added, including religion and culture.

    • Blairski says:

      Thanks GrnieWnie! Very helpful perspective.

  10. Nina says:

    Obama should use reverse psychology when talking about Trump. Instead of being all ‘Trump needs to do (sensible thing) because it’s the right thing to do’, he needs to follow that up with ‘…but he never will because he’s a small, petty, deeply unintelligent man.’

    That way, there is a slim chance that Trump will actually do (sensible thing) Not because it’s the right thing to do but because he likes nothing more than proving Obama wrong.

  11. SM says:

    I watched the episode of the Stephen Colbert show last night. He chatted with Jake Tapper and showed a pic of how Jake looked in 2016 versus post election. He also showed his own pics from 2016 and 2020. I haven’t notice that but Jake very accurately pointed out that Trump did not change at all, that he is the only President in history who did not age during Presidency, while everyone else aged 30 years during his time in office. This is the thing, he never realised the gravity and weight of the Presidency, never made an attempt to rise to the authority of the Office, while it is the people who lived in constant stress those past 30, sorry, 4 long years. It is only consistent that he is unwilling to put anything above himself and will age us another two years in the next 60 days

  12. Amelie says:

    The Obamas transitioning the White House to the Trumps–we knew they would rise above and do it gracefully and tactfully but the point is they shouldn’t have had to. And I think that’s the point Michelle is trying to get across. They shouldn’t have had to smile for the cameras and play nice, especially after Trump’s vicious and racist lies and smears to delegitimize the Obama presidency and Obama as a person. The media might have had a field day but I personally would have been very satisfied watching Michelle and Barack walk away from the White House without ever interacting with the Trumps or ever attending the inauguration. In the end, the “transition” was all for naught since Trump basically destroyed everything the presidency stood for and sat in the Oval Office watching cable news and eating fast food while tweeting nonsense for four years straight, issuing dangerous rhetoric and acting like a fascist.

    I remember Michelle and how somber she looked during the inauguration. She was done pretending that she was okay with any of this. And again, neither the Obamas should have had to subject themselves to the Trumps in any way. It really wasn’t fair what they had to endure, especially as the nation’s first African-American “First Couple” in the White House.

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