Michelle Obama suggested President Trump was treating the transition like “a game” on Monday and pleaded with Republicans to “honor the electoral process” by accepting Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the president-elect.
“Our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego,” Mrs. Obama, the former first lady, wrote on Instagram, as she called out the president for “spreading racist lies” about her husband.
Mrs. Obama, one of the most popular women in the world and an influential figure in the Democratic Party, began her post by recounting how painful it had been to acknowledge that Mr. Trump had won in 2016.
Mr. Trump, she said, had spread the racist birther lie that “had put my family in danger” — but she was determined to follow the protocols of respect, cooperation and support that former President George W. Bush and his family adopted after President Barack Obama was elected.
Hillary Clinton, she said, “had just been dealt a tough loss by a far closer margin than the one we’ve seen this year,” she wrote. “I was hurt and disappointed — but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won.”
Mr. Trump’s birtherism, she wrote, “wasn’t something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside.” So she instructed her staff in the East Wing to cooperate fully with her successor, Melania Trump, and her aides.
Mrs. Obama, who has delivered memorable convention speeches on behalf of Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Biden, did not campaign in person for Mr. Biden this year, but she helped the Biden-Harris campaign’s fund-raising and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Mrs. Obama’s 2018 memoir, “Becoming,” blended her progressive political views with personal observations about growing up as a Black woman in America, and a candid discussion of what it was like raising children in the glare of public scrutiny.
In keeping with that approach, Mrs. Obama used her personal actions — namely meeting with Mrs. Trump to answer questions about life in the White House four years ago — to illustrate what she sees as Mr. Trump’s dangerous violations of political traditions intended to stabilize the country’s institutions after elections.
“This isn’t a game,” she wrote, addressing the president’s followers, and Republican leaders who have placated Mr. Trump by refusing to acknowledge Mr. Biden’s status as president-elect.
“So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.”
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