Michelle Obama defended Ellen DeGeneres' friendship with George W. Bush while opening up about her own relationship with the former president.
In an interview on Today during a trip to Vietnam to raise awareness about the importance of education for young girls, Bush's daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, asked Obama her thoughts on the uproar around DeGeneres sitting with Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game in October.
"I think 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 recalled the time she's spent with Bush and explained that their values transcend 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," the former first lady said. "Our values are the same. We disagree on policy, but we don't disagree on humanity. We don't disagree about love and compassion."
Watch part two of @MichelleObama’s interview with @jennabushhager about dropping her youngest daughter off at college, the 2020 election and her special friendship with former President George W. Bush. pic.twitter.com/wz9ZBAtpG6
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 10, 2019
In response to the backlash, DeGeneres had a similar response, saying she celebrates having friendships with "a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs."
"Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not gonna be friends with them," DeGeneres said in October.
Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend. Here’s the whole story. pic.twitter.com/AYiwY5gTIS
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 8, 2019
This isn't the first time Obama has opened up about her admiration for Bush. Last year, in another interview with Today, she called him her "partner in crime."
"He is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the 'formers' gather," she said at the time. "So we're together all the time, and I love him to death. He's a wonderful man. He's a funny man."