Michelle Obama Says She Cried for 30 Minutes on Trump Inauguration Day

  • Michelle Obama said she cried uncontrollably on Air Force One on Trump’s inauguration day.
  • Obama said she cried because “that’s how much we were holding it together for eight years.”
  • This was after the Obamas left the White House in 2017, on Trump’s inauguration day.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama says she cried uncontrollably when she boarded Air Force One for the last time on January 20, 2017.

In a clip in “Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast,” Obama described her experience on former President Donald Trump’s inauguration day. A preview audio clip from the podcast was released on SoundCloud on Monday.

“When those doors shut, I cried for 30 minutes. Straight, uncontrollable sobbing, because that’s how much we were holding it together for eight years,” she said, describing what it was like boarding Air Force One for the last time at Joint Base Andrews.

Obama also talked about what it was like having to attend then-President-elect Trump’s inauguration ceremony. 

“There were tears, there was that emotion. But then to sit on that stage and watch the opposite of what we represented on display — there was no diversity, there was no color on that stage,” Obama said. “There was no reflection of the broader sense of America.” 

“And many people took pictures of me and they’re like, ‘You weren’t in a good mood?’ No, I was not! But you had to hold it together, like you do for eight years,” Obama added.

In July 2019, Obama said in an interview with CBS host Gayle King that having to attend Trump’s inauguration as one of the few people of color there was “a lot, emotionally.” 

Four years after he took office, Trump became one of the few presidents to skip his successor’s inauguration. He left the White House on the morning of January 20, 2021, on Marine One, to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Representatives for Obama did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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