New report reveals a major reason Michelle Obama isn't campaigning for Biden

  • Michelle Obama isn't happy about how the Bidens have treated Hunter's ex, Kathleen Buhle, Axios reported.

  • The former first lady has been quiet about Biden's campaign, with her husband attending events solo.

  • Both Michelle Obama's spokespeople and the White House denied the report.

At a time when President Joe Biden needs all the political allies he can get, Michelle Obama is upset with his family over its treatment of Kathleen Buhle, her close friend and Hunter Biden's ex-wife, anonymous sources told Axios.

According to the sources — whose claims Michelle Obama's spokespeople and the White House denied — the former first lady has refrained from campaigning for the president partly because of her friendship with Buhle, who the Bidens have distanced themselves from in the years since her divorce.

The women became friends during the Obama administration and have remained close.

As Axios noted, Hunter Biden wrote in his memoir that the two women used to work out and have cocktails together during the Obama administration. Michelle Obama also appeared to mention Buhle in her own book, writing that she still takes regular walks with her friend Kathleen.

Though Michelle Obama did repost President Biden's campaign announcement on Twitter in 2023, she hasn't tweeted about the election since.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama has appeared solo at campaign fundraisers and a recent state dinner.

Since splitting from Hunter Biden in 2017, Buhle has remained on the outskirts of the Biden clan. She testified at her ex-husband's recent criminal trial, which resulted in three guilty verdicts for federal gun crimes.

Though the president has staunchly supported his son, the saga — including Buhle's testimony about the younger Biden's drug use during their marriage — has added an additional level of drama to the reelection campaign. It marked the first time that the child of a sitting president was convicted of a crime.

Michelle Obama's representatives and the White House have denied any tension between the families, instead attributing the former first lady's absence from the presidential campaign to her distaste for partisan politics. In 2018, Michelle Obama launched a nonpartisan voter engagement organization, When We All Vote, where she has since focused much of her political energy.

"Mrs. Obama has already said she supports President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' campaign," Crystal Carson, the communications director for Michelle Obama, said in a statement. "She is friends with Kathleen and with the Bidens. Two things can be true."

Carson pointed Business Insider to the fact that Jill Biden attended the funeral of Michelle Obama's mother on Monday as evidence of the families' continued closeness. Obama's spokesperson also affirmed Michelle Obama's support for the president earlier this spring amid unsubstantiated speculation that the former first lady planned to run in his stead.

Andrew Bates, deputy press secretary at the White House, said in a statement to Business Insider that the "former President and First Lady have been two of the strongest supporters of President Biden's leadership and agenda."

Bates said that the anonymous sources, whoever they are, aren't familiar with the substance of the relations between the Biden and Obama families.

Michelle Obama may soon become more present in Biden's reelection campaign, as Axios reported that one of her top aides recently met with a White House aide to discuss increasing her involvement.

There may be some precedent to Michelle Obama getting involved later in the election cycle. She waited until August 2020 to start consistently posting her support during the first Biden-Trump match-up.

Read the original article on Business Insider