Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the United States, reflected upon President Donald Trump’s shock election victory in 2016 as she talked about exiting the White House in a social media post on Tuesday. Urging the Trump administration to ensure a smooth transition of power after a close win by Democrat Joe Biden, Obama asked leaders to honour the electoral process, “just as sitting presidents have done throughout the history.”
“I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, 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,” she said in an Instagram post. “I was hurt and disappointed—but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won,” she wrote referring to Trump’s victory in the last presidential elections. “The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do,” she added.
Recalling the transition process, she wrote: “My husband and I instructed our staffs to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power—one of the hallmarks of American democracy.” “We invited the folks from the president-elect’s team into our offices and prepared detailed memos for them, offering what we’d learned over the past eight years,” she added.
Michelle Obama also said that the process was not easy for her as Trump had spread “racist lies” about her husband and the former president Barack Obama and her family which she said, “wasn’t something I was ready to forgive.”
“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. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside,” the former first lady added.
She further wrote, “I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego. 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 anyone individual or any one party,” she also said.
The criticism by Michelle Obama comes as Trump has refused to concede defeat in the recently held US presidential elections. Alleging fraud in ballot counting, Trump has instead threatened to challenge the electoral result in the Supreme Court.
Biden defeated Trump by winning a series of battleground states that the Republican incumbent had won in 2016. The Democratic former vice president also won the national popular vote by more than 5.5 million votes or 3.6 percentage points. On Monday, Trump once again refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory as he tweeted “I WON THE ELECTION!”