Former first lady Michelle Obama — whom filmmaker Michael Moore has called the “one person that would crush” President Donald Trump in 2020 — may not be throwing her hat into the ring, but she is sharing her thoughts on the other pressing political issue of the day: the impeachment hearings.
On Monday, the Today show aired an interview between Obama and anchor (and former first daughter) Jenna Bush Hager in Vietnam, where the former FLOTUS is representing the Girls Opportunity Alliance alongside actress Julia Roberts. While Obama is in the country to raise awareness about the importance of education for young girls, the conversation naturally turned to the threat of impeachment currently looming over her husband’s White House successor.
Though she has criticized Trump in the past — speaking out against his support of birther conspiracy theories in her 2018 memoir, Becoming, and telling Gayle King in July about “[looking] around at a crowd that was not reflective of the country” during his 2017 inauguration — Obama offered a fairly neutral response when asked about the impeachment hearings and their effect on the country.
"It's surreal,” she told Bush Hager, adding that young people were unaccustomed to seeing a president go through the process. "I don't think people know what to make of it. But do I think we can come back from it? Oh yeah.
"We've seen tough times in this country,” she added. “You know we've gone through depressions and wars and bombings and terrorist attacks, and we've gone through Jim Crow, and we've always come out stronger. And that's what we have to continue to believe because what's our choice? To ball up in a corner and call it a day? Well that's not fair to this next generation that's coming before us that are counting on us to get this right."
She also downplayed concern that the impeachment proceedings were dividing the country.
"It's not an 'us or them,' it's not an 'R or a D' (Republican or Democrat), we are all here as part of this country,” she said. "We all want the same things, it's just sometimes that gets lost in the noise."
Obama will next take her education mission to Malaysia, where she’ll be joined by a notable ally: husband Barack Obama.
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