Michelle Obama to Oprah: Americans Are 'Feeling What Not Having Hope Feels Like'

Michelle Obama tells Oprah that the country is experiencing a loss of hope.

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Michelle Obama sat down with Oprah for her last White House interview this week, recapping her time in Washington with President Obama and discussing the current political climate in the United States. Grimly, the First Lady told Oprah that she feels Americans are experiencing a loss of hope, the very concept on which President Obama ran his 2008 presidential campaign.

CBS reports that in the special, which will air next week, Obama and Oprah discussed the overall mood in the U.S. following the nomination of Donald Trump for president. "See, now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like. You know? Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept,” Obama said. "And Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. I mean, he and I and so many believe that if you, what else do you have if you don’t have hope?"

"What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?" Obama continued. "You know, our children respond to crises the way they see us respond. You know, it’s like the toddler that bumps his head on the table...they look up at you to figure out whether it hurts. And if you’re like, oh, my God, they’re crying. But if you’re like, you know what, babe, it’s okay."

Obama further told Oprah that she thinks the president was able to achieve a sense of hope. "We feel the difference now," Obama said. 

A staunch critic of president-elect Trump during his campaign, Obama also alluded that Trump won't be able to fill the role that her husband has for the American people. "Having a grown-up in the White House who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil, hey, it’s gonna be okay," she said. "Let’s remember the good things that we have. Let’s look at the future. Let’s look at all the things that we’re building. All of this is important for our kids to stay focused and to feel like their work isn’t in vain. That their lives aren’t in vain. What do we do if we don’t have hope, Oprah?"

The interview will air in full this coming Monday, December 19 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET. 

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