Former first lady Michelle Obama excoriated President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump for refusing to behave “maturely” and blocking the smooth transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Monday, Obama wrote about how she welcomed Donald and Melania Trump to the White House in 2016 despite the fact that 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.”
Obama said she and Barack Obama instructed their staff 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.”
In a direct admonition of Melania Trump’s behavior in not reaching out to Jill Biden after the election, as is tradition, Obama recalled how she welcomed Melania Trump into the White House in 2017 and “talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had—from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it’s like to raise kids in the White House.”
Obama said they also invited Trump’s team to their officers and offered them “detailed memos” on what they had learned over then-president Barack Obama’s two terms.
“I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego,” she wrote.
The former first lady also slammed Trump for refusing to accept that he lost the election and spreading “groundless conspiracy theories,” adding that he was putting “the country’s health and security in danger.”
More than a week after Biden received a historic number of votes to win a tight election, Trump and his cohort of loyal Republicans have refused to recognize the Democrats’ victory and have sought to undermine confidence in the election through flimsy lawsuits and baseless conspiracy theories. Many of Trump’s supporters, including violent white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys, have organized rallies and “Stop the Steal” protests across the country.
A Trump-appointed administrator who heads the General Services Administration has so far blocked Biden’s transition team from accessing federal funds and facilities crucial to setting up his administration in January.
“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 wrote in her Instagram post.
She urged the nation’s leaders to “honor the electoral process” and to do their part “to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.”