First lady denies conflict with White House advisers

Carolyn Kaster/AP

First Lady Michelle Obama denied that she has clashed with White House advisers in an interview broadcast by CBS News' This Morning on Wednesday. "I guess it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here," Obama said. "But that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced -- that I'm some angry black woman." The first lady was reacting to a new book, 'The Obamas' by Jodi Kantor, in which first lady is characterized as a forceful presence in the White House who often had friction with some of the President's aides, including former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and former press secretary Robert Gibbs. The book also alleges that Michelle Obama had trouble adapting to the constraints of her new role. Obama told CBS News that she had "never had a cross word" with Emanuel or Gibbs, and that both men are good friends. "I don't have conversations with my husband's staff. I don't go to the meetings," Obama said. "Our staffs work together really well. If there's communication that needs to happen, it happens between staffs. My chief of staff talks to his chief of staff. If there were ever an issue it would go through that channel anyway. I can count the number of times I go over to the west wing, period," she said. "That's not to say that we don't have discussions and conversations," Obama said of her relationship with the president. "That's not to say that my husband doesn't know how I feel." She described herself as President Obama's biggest ally and closest confidante. The first lady said that she has not read Kantor's book. "I never read these books," she said, later adding, "who can write about how I feel? Who? What third person can tell me how I feel? Or anybody, for that matter." "I love this job," Obama said of her role as first lady. "It has been a privilege from day one." Obama said that any anxiety she feels as first lady comes out of her concern for her daughters, and their experience growing up in the White House.

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