Former First Lady Michelle Obama told Robin Roberts of Donald Trump's election, "Voters make those decisions, and once the voters have spoken, we live with what we live with"

By Emily Zauzmer
November 12, 2018 02:11 PM

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed that she couldn’t hide her unhappiness on President Donald Trump‘s inauguration day — nor did she even try.

In a self-narrated audio version of her memoir Becoming that was played during the former first lady’s Sunday interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, Mrs. Obama lamented the fact that with Trump’s inauguration, “the vibrant diversity of the two previous inaugurations was gone.

“Someone from Barack’s administration might have said that the optics there were bad,” she continued. “That what the public saw didn’t reflect the president’s reality or ideals. But in this case, maybe it did. Realizing it, I made my own optic adjustment. I stopped even trying to smile.”

In the interview, Roberts asked Mrs. Obama, “What goes through your mind when you read and hear all that’s going on right now with this administration?”

“I said what I continue to say. Being the commander-in-chief is a hard job. You need to have discipline, and you need to read, and you need to be knowledgeable. You need to know history. You need to be careful with your words,” Mrs. Obama replied. “But voters make those decisions, and once the voters have spoken, we live with what we live with.”

In January, Mrs. Obama discussed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show the awkward moment on inauguration day when First Lady Melania Trump handed her a gift.

“There’s all this protocol,” Mrs. Obama recalled. “I mean, this is like a state visit, so they tell you that you’re going to do this, they’re going to stand here. Never before do you get this gift, so I’m sort of like, ‘Okay, what am I supposed to do with this gift?’ ”

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“Everyone cleared out, and no one would come and take the box. And I’m thinking, ‘Do we take the picture [with the box]?’ ” she said. “And then my husband saved the day — see he grabbed the box and took it back inside. But everybody cleared out. No staff, no one. I was like, ‘What do you do with the box?’ ”

Michelle Obama and Donald Trump at the inauguration
Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty

In Becoming, Mrs. Obama criticized Trump for falsely claiming that former President Barack Obama was not born in America. She wrote that she will “never forgive” Trump for putting her daughters, Sasha and Malia, in danger by spreading the lie about her husband.

She also called Trump’s birther movement “crazy and mean-spirited” with “underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed,” according to ABC News.

On Friday, Trump responded to Mrs. Obama’s statement with critiques of his own. “She got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always expect a little controversy,” he told reporters.

“I’ll never forgive [President Obama] for what he did to our United States by not funding it properly. It was depleted. It was old and tired, and I came in and I had to fix it, and I’m in the process of spending tremendous amounts of money, so I’ll never forgive him for what he did to our military,” Trump added.