Michelle Obama is ready to share what went through her head on Donald Trump‘s Inauguration Day in January 2017.
In a clip from Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast shared exclusively with PEOPLE, the former first lady, 59, reveals why she was left “uncontrollably sobbing” after she and former President Barack Obama said goodbye to the White House, and explains the issues she had with Trump’s inauguration.
“That day was so emotional for so many different reasons,” Obama tells Hoda Kotb during the podcast’s first episode, titled “Kids Just Want Our Gladness.”
“We were leaving the home we had been in for eight years, the only home our kids really knew,” she continues of her and Barack’s daughters — Malia, now 24, and Sasha, now 21. “They remembered Chicago but they had spent more time in the White House than anywhere, so we were saying goodbye to the staff and all the people who helped to raise them.”
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CHUCK KENNEDY/AFP/Getty Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha Obama
The author then goes on to describe how she felt as she noticed the lack of diversity at Trump’s inauguration. “To sit on that stage and watch the opposite of what we represented on display — there was no diversity, there was no color on that stage,” she says. “There was no reflection of the broader sense of America.”
Obama continues: “Many people took pictures of me and they’re like, ‘You weren’t in a good mood?’ No, I was not! But you had to hold it together like you do for eight years.”
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While describing the process of leaving the White House for the final time as the first family, Obama took a moment to comment on the size of the inauguration crowd that day, weighing in on the Trump administration’s misleading claims that his inauguration pulled the largest audience in history and blew President Obama’s out of the water.
“You walk through the Capitol, you wave goodbye, you get on Marine One, and you take your last flight flying over the Capitol,” she says, “where there weren’t that many people there — we saw it, by the way!”
Going on to reveal how she fell apart once the doors to Air Force One closed for the final time, she continues, “When those doors shut, I cried for 30 minutes straight, uncontrollable sobbing, because that’s how much we were holding it together for eight years.”
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Michelle’s husband Barack has also previously opened up about how he felt following Trump’s inauguration, telling Prince Harry during an interview on a BBC radio station in 2017 how glad he was to have had his wife by his side.
“Well, the first thing that went through my mind was, sitting across from Michelle, how thankful I was that she had been my partner through that whole process,” he said. He added that he “had concerns about how the country moves forward but overall there was a serenity there more than I would have expected.”
Ben Solomon/Penguin Random House
The former first lady’s new podcast highlights conversations she had with famous friends during her 2022 book tour for her bestselling book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times. Obama traveled the U.S. and spoke with A-listers along the way, including Kotb, Ellen DeGeneres, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Conan O’Brien and David Letterman.
Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast premieres Tuesday, March 7, on Audible. New episodes drop weekly, and will be available exclusively on Audible for two weeks before reaching other streaming platforms.