On Friday, Nov. 30, Michelle Obama appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to promote her best-selling book, chat about her time in the White House, and share some little-known tidbits about her husband, President Barack Obama. During the interview, she also made a jab at the current POTUS and his administration. But the statement was more than just a jab — Michelle Obama's comments on Donald Trump and practicing morality in the White House raise an important question.
When the Former FLOTUS shared her experience being a moral figurehead of the United States, Colbert asked her what she thought about the current "occupant of the Oval Office" and his demeanor that Colbert described as "indifferent" to the responsibility of moral leadership.
Without naming names, Obama responded, "I have been very clear about how I felt about that. I gave a speech about it at the 2016 convention."
But then Obama continued to make a poignant statement. She said,
The question we have to ask ourselves is, how does the country feel about it? The country has to ask itself, what do we want, what is the bar we are setting for ourselves? What kind of moral leadership do we demand in the White House? If we vote for one set of behavior, then that’s obviously what we want, until we vote differently.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on both Colbert's and Obama's remarks, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Obama appears to be posing a question to the nation as whole regarding how people feel about the current administration's actions in office. Seeing as though President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen accepted a plea deal with the special counsel's office on Thursday, Nov. 29 — after pleading guilty to lying to Congress regarding plans for Trump Tower deal in Moscow, Russia, during the 2016 presidential election, per The New York Times — it seems like Obama might have a point. The office of the special counsel confirmed Cohen's charges and plea in an email to Elite Daily, but didn't offer an additional comment. Elite Daily also reached out to Cohen's representatives for comment, but did not hear back in time for publication. The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on Cohen's plea deal.
Obama's words and appearance on The Late Show moved many viewers. Users took to Twitter to express their admiration for the former FLOTUS, calling her "wise" and the "epitome of being beautiful inside and out."
Obama also shared more specifics about how the Obama administration acted in a different manner than the current Trump administration. She told Colbert, "The margin of error was small, and we felt that." Speaking to Trump's affinity for hitting the links, she continued,
Barack couldn’t golf. You know, we could just start there. There’s so much that would have been an outrage for us and we knew it. There wasn't any room for anybody in our administration to be indicted.... We had to be highly ethical. We showed our taxes, we divested our money. This isn’t shade. This is just the sort of stuff we had to think about doing.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Obama's remarks, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Obama's memoir, Becoming, which became the best-selling book in the United States just over two weeks after publication, criticizes Trump for a handful of things. Though the book is certainly not centered around the current president or his policies, Obama talks about Trump's dangerous birther comments and how they made her fear for her family's safety. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Trump's "birther" comments, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Not known for subtlety, Trump has shared his own comments about Obama's memoir. In a conversation with White House reporters early in November, he said,
I guess she wrote a book. She got paid a lot of money to write a book. And they always insist that you come up with controversial — well, I’ll give you a little controversy back. I’ll never forgive [Barack Obama] for what he did to our United States military. By not funding it properly, it was depleted.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment and further clarification of Trump's response, but did not hear back by the time of publication. Representatives for the Obamas did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment.
But Obama's book covers so much more than the controversies Trump purports. She also talks about some uplifting things that shaped her own life and experiences in Becoming, like how her husband proposed to her, her experience advocating for the rights of girls and women globally, and even details her life all the way back to when she was a young girl in South Side of Chicago.
With her ability to gain insight into all of her life experiences, it's no surprise that Obama would pose a question about the country's morality like the one she asked on Friday.