In her first televised interview since leaving the White House, former first lady Michelle Obama visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she shared details of the awkward gift exchange between the outgoing and incoming first couples during the inauguration of President Trump.
In a preview of Michelle Obama’s interview — which will air Thursday — the daytime host was quick to bring up the encounter, which was captured on video.
“Hey, I have a question, and I think a lot of people have the same question: So, when the transfer was happening, when Donald Trump and his wife were moving into the White House, there was a gift exchange,” DeGeneres said.
“Oh yeah. The Tiffany box,” Obama responded.
Obama went on to reveal that the Trumps gave them a “lovely frame.” Hoping to get commentary on the awkward exchange, DeGeneres proceeded to play the video clip, showing Obama visibly confused after receiving the gift.
“Well, there’s all this protocol. I mean, this is like a state visit, so they tell you that you’re going to do this, they’re going to stand here. Never before do you get this gift, so I’m sort of like, ‘OK. What am I supposed to do with this gift?’” Obama explained.
Obama then recalled them being left alone with the Trumps, confused as to why no one would retrieve the box from her hands.
“And everyone cleared out and no one would come and take the box. And I’m thinking, ‘Do we take the picture with … ?’ And then my husband saved the day — see, he grabbed the box and took it back inside. But everybody cleared out. No staff, no one. I was like, ‘What do you do with the box?’”
The former first lady visited Ellen in honor of the daytime host’s 60th birthday. The star-studded celebration will continue until Friday.