Michelle Obama: Why I am helping Trump

Story highlights

  • The first lady criticized Donald Trump on the campaign trail

(CNN)While Michelle Obama was a harsh critic of Donald Trump on the campaign trail, the first lady says in an interview that she is supportive of the country's incoming new leader.

"The words that we say moving forward -- all of us, it matters, which is one of the reasons Barack and I are so supportive of this 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," she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired Monday on CBS. "Wasn't done when my husband took office but we're going high and this is what's best for the country."
"So we are going to be there for the next president and do whatever we have to do to make sure that he is successful because if he succeeds we all succeed," she added.
The first lady met Melania Trump at the White House days after her husband was elected president and offered her support to the President-elect's wife.
"My offer to Melania was 'You really don't know what you don't know until you're here,'" Obama said. "So the door is open, as I've told her and as Laura Bush told me and as other first ladies told me."
Obama said Bush's team helped her staff throughout her entire time in Washington and she will extend the same to the next first lady.
"We will do whatever they need to help them succeed, so that's one of the things I said to Melania," she said.