Michelle Obama said first lady Melania Trump has never reached out to her for advice, even after Obama extended an invitation as her predecessor Laura Bush did.
Obama told ABC News in an interview that aired Sunday that Trump has not asked for any help since the Obamas left the White House in January 2017.
“No, she hasn’t,” Obama said when asked if Trump reached out to her at all.
Michelle Obama hosted Melania Trump at the White House for tea after Election Day 2016 when then-President Barack Obama and his successor met for the first time.
Donald Trump tweeted after the meeting that “Melania liked Mrs. O a lot!”
Months later, on Inauguration Day, Melania Trump brought the outgoing first lady a present wrapped in a Tiffany & Company blue box as the couples greeted each other outside the north portico of the White House. It was revealed more than a year later that the gift was a picture frame.
“Mrs. Trump is a strong and independent woman who has been navigating her role as First Lady in her own way. When she needs advice on any issue, she seeks it from her professional team within the White House,” Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said.
. @StephGrisham45’s response to CNN, re @MichelleObama’s comments: Mrs. Trump is a strong and independent woman who has been navigating her role as First Lady in her own way. When she needs advice on any issue, she seeks it from her professional team within the White House."
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) November 12, 2018
Despite the silence from the current East Wing inhabitant, Obama said she will reserve any judgment of her successor, at least publicly.
“You know, one of the things you learn as a former, it’s, like, I don’t judge what a current is doing, you know? So I’d prefer not to, you know, speak on what she’s doing versus what I did because I think every first lady approaches this job differently,” Obama said.
She is not extending the same courtesy to the president. In her forthcoming memoir, “Becoming,” Obama wrote that she could not fake happiness during Trump’s inauguration.
“Someone from Barack’s administration might have said that the optics there were bad, that what the public saw didn’t reflect the President’s reality or ideals, but in this case, maybe it did,” Obama said in audio of the book. “Realizing it, I made my own optic adjustment. I stopped even trying to smile.”