What was in the Tiffany box Melania Trump gave Michelle Obama? The former first lady finally spills

Melania Trump embraced Michelle Obama before handing her a gift.
Evan Vucci/AP/File
Melania Trump embraced Michelle Obama before handing her a gift.

Michelle Obama opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about why she seemed so awkward when Melania Trump gave her a gift before President Trump’s inauguration — and revealed just what was inside the Tiffany & Co. box.

In a preview clip from an episode set to air Thursday, DeGeneres asked the former first lady about the meeting of the two couples prior to the inauguration ceremony.

“When the transfer was happening, when Donald Trump and his wife were moving into the White House, there was a gift exchange,” DeGeneres said.


“Oh, yeah. The Tiffany’s box,” Obama acknowledged.

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At the time, the exchange led many to ask: What was in the box? (The subject was a topic of discussion on several shows, including "Good Morning America” and “Inside Edition,” and became of interest on Twitter.)

“So, what was in there?” DeGeneres asked.

“It was a lovely frame,” Obama said.

Tiffany & Co. sells photo frames that cost anywhere from $90 — all the way up to $2,000.


DeGeneres then showed a video clip of the exchange, in which the former first lady appeared flustered after the current first lady handed her the rectangular present.

Obama explained why she seemed so awkward in the moment.

“Well, there’s all this protocol,” Obama said. “I mean, this is like a state visit, so they tell you that you’re going to do this, they’re going to stand here. Never before do you get this gift. So I’m like, OK . . . what am I supposed to do with this gift? And then everyone cleared out and no one would come and take the box and I’m thinking, do we take the picture?”

Thankfully, then-president Barack Obama “saved the day” by smoothly grabbing the box from his wife and giving it to a staffer who was out of sight.

Obama’s appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is the first post-White House TV interview she has granted.