Former First Lady Michelle Obama says she cried uncontrollably the last time she boarded Air Force One on January 20, 2017.
In a clip from “Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast,” Obama discussed her experience on the day of former President Donald Trump’s inauguration. On Monday, a preview audio clip from the podcast was released on SoundCloud.
“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 discussed what it was like to be forced 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 as you do for eight years,” Obama added.
In a July 2019 interview with CBS host Gayle King, Obama stated that having to attend Trump’s inauguration as one of the few people of the color present was “a lot, emotionally.”
According to Yahoo News, Trump became one of the few presidents to skip his successor’s inauguration four years after taking office. On the morning of January 20, 2021, he left the White House and boarded Marine One, and flew to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.