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Michelle Obama tells Oprah that 2016 election 'was painful'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/20/2016
FILE - In this June 14, 2016, file photo, first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey have a discussion on Trailblazing the Path for the Next Generation of Women during the White House Summit on the United State of Women in Washington. Mrs. Obama sat down in The White House with Winfrey for a White House interview that was broadcast on CBS Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this June 14, 2016, file photo, first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey have a discussion on Trailblazing the Path for the Next Generation of Women during the White House Summit on the United State of Women in Washington. Mrs. Obama sat down in The White House with Winfrey for a White House interview that was broadcast on CBS Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama tells Oprah Winfrey that this past election was "painful," but says she and her husband will support President-elect Donald Trump's ongoing transition to the White House and beyond because it's "what's best for the country."

Mrs. Obama sat down with Winfrey at the White House for an hour-long special that was broadcast Monday on CBS.

Michelle Obama was a vocal supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton during the campaign, one she told Winfrey "was challenging for me as a citizen to watch and experience."

"It was painful," she added.

The first lady touched on her emotional remarks on the campaign trail following the revelation of Trump's graphic and predatory comments about women in a 2005 recording. Obama told a New Hampshire crowd in October that Trump's remarks about grabbing women had shaken her "to the core."

"A lot of people have been shaken to their core and still are," she told Winfrey. "They are still feeling the reverberations of that kind of caustic language."

Still, Mrs. Obama says she and the president are supporting Trump's transition because "no matter how we felt going into it, it is important for the health of this nation that we support the commander in chief."

"It wasn't done when my husband took office, but we're going high, and this is what's best for the country," she said, a reference to her comments during the campaign that when opponents go "low," Democrats should take the high road.

Some congressional leaders refused to support her husband when he took office, Mrs. Obama said, adding that the strategy was "good for politics, but it wasn't good for the country."

As for her own political future, Mrs. Obama says she won't run for public office.

"People don't really understand how hard this is," she said. "It's not something that you cavalierly just sort of ask a family to do again."

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