On Monday, the former First Lady, 55, shared her thoughts on the country’s current tense political atmosphere as Trump, 73, faces potential impeachment while chatting with Today‘s Jenna Bush Hager in Vietnam.
“It’s surreal, I think,” Obama said. “The last impeachment hearing, a lot of young people weren’t around for that, so this is all new. I don’t think people know what to make of it.”
However, the mother of two feels optimistic that the country can survive, no matter how things play out.
“But do I think we can come back from it? Oh yeah,” she said. “We have seen worse times, we have seen tough times in this country. We have gone through depressions and wars and bombings and terrorist attacks and we’ve gone through Jim Crow and we’ve always come out stronger.”
Watch @MichelleObama speak exclusively with @jennabushhager in Vietnam about the importance of girls' education, post-White House life with @BarackObama and her thoughts on the current impeachment proceedings.— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 9, 2019
More tomorrow and Wednesday on TODAY. pic.twitter.com/Jf9SKyIdnf
“And that’s what we have to continue to believe, because what’s our choice?” she continued. “To ball up in a corner and call it a day? Well, that’s not fair to this next generation that’s coming before us, that is counting on us to get this right. It’s not an us or a them, not an R or a D. We are all here in this country, we all want the same things. It’s just sometimes that gets lost in the noise.”
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she wanted the House to move forward with drafting articles of impeachment, which are widely expected to pass — possibly before Christmas.
That would set up a trial in the Republican-led Senate.
“The president leaves us no choice but to act,” Pelosi said Thursday, later tweeting out the same. “I am asking our Chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment.”
Trump responded on his favorite platform with a familiar critcism.
“This will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents,” he said on Twitter. “That is not what our Founders had in mind.”
Trump is under investigation for allegedly pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, while withholding $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
Biden is one of the top Democratic candidates seeking to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.
It is unclear when the House will vote on articles of impeachment, which are expected to center on allegations of bribery and obstruction.
Should they pass, as expected, Trump would stand trial in the Senate where a two-thirds majority vote would be needed to convict and remove him from office.
More of Hager’s interview with Obama will air Tuesday on NBC’s Today.