Michelle Obama returned to TV today for an interview with Ellen DeGeneres – her first since she left the White House.


The pair joked about the 25 push-ups Obama was able to do on Ellen back in 2012 and Obama encouraged viewers to tune out the negativity coming out of Washington. “I know!” DeGeneres said to her cheering audience when the former first lady came to the stage. “Hey guys!” Obama said to more applause.

“Nothing much, hanging out,” Obama said when the host asked what she’s been up to since leaving the White House. “I wake up when I wanna wake up and I got myself all gussied up to come here… but we’re doing great. The girls are good, Barack is working, we got projects going, so we’re staying busy.”

DeGeneres asked if she had been working out, but clarified that she was not planning on challenging Obama to any physical activity. “I’m not dressed for a challenge and I’d beat you anyway,” Obama joked.

She then explained that they moved right down the street from the White House so that their daughter Sasha could finish high school with the same class she’s been in since second grade. When asked if it was weird to be so close to their old home, Obama said not at all. “It is odd because now I have a door and a doorbell. And people actually trip out when I come to my door and I open it. And the dogs, Bo and Sunny, don’t know what a doorbell is. So the doorbell rings and they’re like, I never heard that before.”

The former First Lady also revealed that President Obama is not happy with the amount of closet space and space in his office. “Sorry,” she said, asserting that she took most of the closet space in the new house. “Sasha actually killed in this house. She has, like, this two room suite… she’s got a living room area and a bedroom and she designed it. So he’s really hating on her,” Obama said to laughs. As for Malia, “she’s got a room up in the attic somewhere. She’s away at college. You don’t waste rooms on college kids.”

The pair then discussed the inauguration day of Donald Trump, and the infamous Tiffany’s box that Melania Trump gifted Michelle. She explained that a gift exchange is not part of the usual routine, so she wasn’t sure what to do with the box. Switching gears, Obama then gave her own gifts to DeGeneres, as it was her birthday show. She included boxed wine, metamucil, a push up kit and a Barack Obama chia pet “to remember the good times.”

Turning to the political climate, DeGeneres asked Obama about her take on what is happening in America right now. “People are afraid but then there are people who feel good about the direction of the country, and that’s what makes this country complicated because it’s made up of so many different people from different backgrounds. We are this mosh pit of society, and sometimes there’s a rub, but the thing I learned in the eight years that I was in the White House, is what we do every day of our lives – we show empathy, we care for each other, we do have a lot in common – that’s what it means to lead with hope and not fear, and that’s all we have is hope.”