First Lady Responds to Reports of Friction with White House Advisers
(WASHINGTON) -- In Michelle Obama’s first response to reports of friction between her and the president’s top advisers, the first lady said that if she disagreed with a White House decision, “I would talk to my own husband about it.”
In an interview with Gayle King, Obama conceded that she is “not an expert on most of the issues that [the president] is dealing with on a daily basis.”
“I am one of his biggest confidants, but he has dozens of really smart people who surround him,” she said. “I want him and he wants to be talking to the people with the best information. That’s not to say that we don’t have discussions and conversations. That’s not to say that my husband doesn’t know how I feel.”
A new book by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor out Tuesday depicts the first lady as a powerful behind-the-scenes player in her husband’s administration. However, the book, entitled The Obamas, also says that there was frustration and tension between Obama and her husband’s team, including former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
“One thing is true, that I talk very candidly to my husband about how I feel, but that’s the kind of relationship we have,” Obama told King. “I wouldn’t go to Rahm about something that I would talk to my husband about. If I didn’t agree with something, I would talk to my own husband about it.”
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