Former first lady Michelle Obama rebuked President Trump on Monday as the sitting president’s refusal to concede has held up President-elect Joe Biden’s formal transition process.
The President-elect’s transition has already come across hurdles amid Trump’s refusal to officially concede. General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy — a Trump appointee who has sole authority over whether Biden’s transition can officially move forward — has not signed the letter of “ascertainment,” which would allow Biden’s transition team to contact federal agencies or access the millions of dollars set aside for it.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Obama recalled being “hurt and disappointed” by then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump in 2016.
The former first lady then said that she and her husband, then-President Barack Obama, followed the example set by preceding POTUS George W. Bush and his wife Laura by running a “respectful, seamless transition of power.”
Obama described inviting then-President-elect Trump into their offices and prepared “detailed memos” that offered what they had learned during their eight years in the White House — a move the former first lady said was anything but easy,
“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,” Obama said. “But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside.”
In welcoming first lady Melania Trump into the White House, Obama said that she shared her experience and answered “every question she had,” which included concerns over the “heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it’s like to raise kids in the White House.”
Obama added that she knew in her heart that fostering a smooth transition for an incoming president she doesn’t ideologically agree with was “the right thing to do — because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego.” The former first lady also took aim at Trump’s bogus claims of widespread voter fraud amid his refusal to concede.
“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,” Obama said. “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.”
Obama concluded “this isn’t a game” as she urged all Americans, especially the country’s leaders 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.”
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