Unfortunately, one of the most talked about moments from President Donald Trump’s inauguration was when outgoing first lady Michelle Obama awkwardly accepted a gift from incoming first lady Melania Trump.
Michelle clearly didn’t know what to do with the gift, which was clearly from Tiffany’s and therefore very expensive. In the video above, it doesn’t even look like she thanked Melania for it – she just wanted to get rid of it as fast as she could, even casting a sideways glance into the camera as if to say, “What do I do with this?”
You accept it and say “thank you,” Michelle. Don’t you have any manners?
Anyhow, Michelle finally revealed to Ellen Degeneres why she acted so ungrateful toward Melania’s gift. As she explained, “Well there is all this protocol. This is like a state visit so they tell you they’re going to stand here, and never before do you get this gift so I’m kind of like, ‘OK…What am I supposed to do with this gift?'”
But here’s the thing – Michelle’s “protocol” excuse is a huge lie. Take a look at this footage from Obama’s inauguration in 2009 (relevant footage starts at the 1:00 mark).
Yes, that’s Michelle giving Laura Bush a gift in the exact same way Melania gave Michelle a gift, meaning that Melania’s act of graciousness wasn’t at all against “protocol.”
Perhaps realizing her mistake, Michelle further explained to Ellen that she acted so awkwardly toward the gift because “everyone cleared out and no one would come and take the box. And I’m thinking, do we take the picture with it?”
Well, as you can see in the video above that’s exactly what Laura Bush did: she hid the box behind Obama’s back and took the picture with it. But apparently that was too difficult an act for Michelle to accomplish, so her husband had to swoop in. “He grabbed the box and took it back inside,” she said. “But everybody cleared out. No staff, no one. I was like what do you do with the box?”
Former first lady Michelle Obama relives the awkward Inauguration Day gift exchange during her first television interview since leaving the White House https://t.co/FhPeuvaU4t pic.twitter.com/hXrPK2W0w1
— CNN International (@cnni) January 31, 2018
And in case you’re wondering what was in the box, Michelle revealed it was a “lovely frame.” Sterling silver Tiffany frames can cost up to nearly $1,000, so it was no small gift on Melania’s part. But Michelle was more concerned about “protocol” than Melania’s thoughtfulness.
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