Valerie Jarrett Details ‘Soul Crushing’ Reaction to Donald Trump’s Election

Susan Rice hand on heart (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Former President Barack Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett detailed her reaction to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

“I couldn’t fathom how our country, which had elected Barack Obama twice, could have possibly elected Donald Trump,” she wrote in her new memoir Finding My Voice released Tuesday. “The election outcome was soul-crushing”

Jarrett said that she joined the president and First Lady Michelle Obama on election night for dinner and to kill time, Barack Obama suggested they watch a movie in the White House movie theater. Together they watched the new Marvel movie Doctor Strange, which was Obama’s choice.

After the movie, Jarrett recalled that President Obama pulled out his phone after the movie and said, “Hmm,” and they went back to watch the returns come in.

As the results appeared grimmer, Michelle Obama ended the evening by standing up and announcing that she was going to bed.

Despite huddling with an optimistic political expert at the White House, Jarrett eventually realized that all hope for Hillary’s victory was lost.

“I stayed for another couple of hours, as the situation only became worse and worse, until the outcome seemed both inevitable and impossible to absorb,” she wrote.

She also recalled her daughter returning from her job at CNN at 3:00 a.m. to confirm that Donald Trump would be the next president.

Despite their best efforts to put on their “game face,” the next morning, Jarrett admitted that the photo of the staff at the White House showed “unmistakable evidence of our soul-crushing pain.”


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