Michelle Obama is a stickler for protocol – at least that’s her excuse for appearing to give Melania Trump the cold shoulder on Inauguration Day.
As if the passing of the presidential torch from progressive Obama to the blunt, businessman Donald Trump couldn’t be “awkward” enough, throw in a mystery gift between first ladies and you’ve got yourself an intrigue.
Upon greeting the Trumps outside the White House during the presidential transition, Melania handed the outgoing first lady a blue Tiffany’s box.
Obama supporters, distraught over Trump’s presidential win, were enthused that the moment appeared to be a slight against the new first lady. Trump supporters, on the other hand, thought Michelle Obama could have handled the situation with a little more graciousness.
As debate over the exchange escalated on social media, so did speculation about what was in the box. And now we know … it was a “lovely picture frame,” Mrs. Obama told Ellen DeGeneres.
Michelle made her first public appearance since leaving the Oval Office and disclosed what happened on that fateful day. She said there was a certain order to how things were supposed to go when the Trumps arrived, and admitted being taken off guard by the gift.
“There is all this protocol. I mean, this is like a state visit so they tell you you’re gonna do this, you’re gonna stand here,” Michelle said.
Once Michelle was holding the gift she said photographers came in to take pictures and she wasn’t sure what to do.
“Never before do you get this gift, so I’m sort of like, ‘Okay, where…? What am I supposed to do with this gift?’ … then everyone cleared out, and no one would come and take the box.”
“My husband saved the day,” she said. “He grabbed the box and took it back inside.”
Specifically, this is what former President Obama said:
“No, no, no,” he said, looking at the package. “Hold on a second.”
Whew! Talk about a “close call”? It’s unclear what earth-shattering political development would have taken place if she simply would have opened the gift there.
Part of Michelle Obama’s interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show can be watched below:
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