First lady: Not 'some angry black woman'

Jan. 11, 2012 at 7:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama disputed a new book's assertion she meddles in White House matters with staff and said she's not "some angry black woman."

In an interview broadcast by CBS News Wednesday, Obama said she hasn't read the book "The Obamas" but said she didn't much like some portrayals she called inaccurate.

"I guess it is more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here, a strong woman and, you know, but that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since, you know, the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman," she said, The New York Times reported.

The first lady said she didn't have conversations with President Barack Obama's staff and didn't attend White House meetings. But she said she wouldn't be surprised if he passed on her thoughts to his staff, as the book by Jodi Kantor or the Times says.

The first lady dismissed the book's descriptions of friction between her and two ex-White House aides -- Rahm Emanuel, who had been chief of staff, and former press secretary Robert Gibbs.

"Rahm and I have never had a cross word," she said.

Of Gibbs, who the book said lost his temper with her during a meeting, she said: "He's been a good friend and remains so. I'm sure we could go day to day and find things people wish they didn't say to each other or said. People stumble, people make mistakes."

She acknowledged she influences her husband.

"I do care deeply about my husband," she said. "I am his biggest ally. I am one of his biggest confidants. But he has dozens of really smart people who surround him. That's not to say that we don't have discussions and conversations. That's not to say that my husband doesn't know how I feel."

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