And addressed the controversy over Ellen DeGeneres's selfie with him.


Michelle Obama is explaining her friendship with George W. Bush.

In an interview with Bush's daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, the former first lady said that some of their shared values transcend their differing politics.

"I had the opportunity to sit by your father at funerals, the highs and the lows, and we shared stories about our kids and about our parents," she told Hager. "Our values are the same. We disagree on policy, but we don't disagree on humanity. We don't disagree about love and compassion. I think that's true for all of us. It's just that we get lost in our fear of what's different"

Michelle Obama & George W. Bush Friendship
Credit: Getty Images.

The friendship between the two of them has been well-documented. Last year, Bush was spotting handing her candy at John McCain's funeral in September and again at his father's funeral in December.

"He has the presence of mind and the sense of humor to bring me a mint," she later said about the viral moment. "And he made it a point to give me that mint right then and there and that’s the beauty of George Bush."

During her interview with Hager, Obama also addressed the controversy over Ellen DeGeneres's friendship with Bush.

"You're friends with both Ellen and my dad, and they sat next to each other which caused some sort of online backlash," Bush said. "Your husband recently talked about the dangers of 'cancel culture.' What do you say to people that want to be closer with each other?"

Obama replied: "When we drop our guards, we let ourselves become vulnerable, and that vulnerability allows us to share our true stories with each other."

She went on to say that "While one can argue that social media is problematic, it's also opening people up to new ideas, to each other, to parts of the world."

"My hope is that [this generation] will be more open-minded and secure in who they are so that they can welcome other people's stories into the mix. But it has to begin with us," she added.