"Look, they are 24 and 21," the Becoming author, 58, told host Robin Roberts of Malia Obama and Sasha Obama, respectively, on the Sunday, November 13, 20/20 special, Michelle Obama: The Light We Carry, A Conversation with Robin Roberts. "They were in high school. They went to prom. They've lived life. And [Barack has] learned how to be a concerned Black father, but not crazy."
The former first lady continued: "I think it's wonderful. I want them to know what they want and who they are in a relationship. And that takes trying on some people."
Sasha was spotted with former college basketball player Clifton Powell Jr. last spring, stirring rumors of romance. Malia has been linked to producer Rory Farquharson since 2017, and the England native has received the former president's seal of approval.
“I think, [like] a lot of families, we went through that first month where we were playing games every night and doing little arts and crafts projects and then slowly, you know, they started to get a little bored with us,” Barack, 61, said while discussing the former first family's COVID-19 quarantine activities during an appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” in 2020. “Maybe teaching Malia and Sasha, and Malia’s boyfriend who was with us for a little while, spades.”
The Hawaii native continued: “He’s British … wonderful young man, and he was sort of stuck because there was a whole visa thing and he had a job set up. So we took him in and I didn’t want to like him, but he’s a good kid.”
The young women are now living together in Los Angeles while their parents are empty-nesters in Chicago.
“Socially speaking, Sasha and Malia are in that slightly wild, slightly ragtag flea-market stage of life, where new friends are exciting treasures that can be found almost anywhere,” the matriarch writes in her new book The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, out November 15.
Malia was 10 and Sasha was 7 when Barack was elected as the President of the United States in 2008. He served two terms, which resulted in his daughters being in the public eye throughout their teen years.
"They're doing great. Proud of them. They survived eight years growing up in one of the harshest spotlights there is,” Michelle told Roberts on Sunday's special. “And they are good, decent, normal young women who are trying to be impactful in the world, and they are the best of friends. Couldn't ask for anything else.”