Michelle Obama talks of 'candid' chats with president

WASHINGTON - US First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday said she talks candidly with her husband on key political issues, following the publication of a book that claimed she had clashed with top White House aides.

Obama said in an interview with the "CBS This Morning" show to be broadcast on Wednesday that she knew President Barack Obama needed to get the best advice on the most difficult issues from advisors who knew their subjects best.

"That's not to say that we don't have discussions and conversations," said Obama in the interview, which was conducted at the White House on Tuesday.

"That's not to say my husband doesn't know how I feel. I mean, one thing is true, I talk very candidly to my husband about how I feel," she said.

"If I didn't agree with something, I would talk to my own husband about it," Michelle Obama said, according to excerpts of the interview released by CBS.

The White House on Monday branded a new book called "The Obamas" by New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor as "over-hyped."

In one episode in the book, former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was reported to have feuded with Valerie Jarrett, a confidant of the Obamas, and even cursed the First Lady over her apparent dissatisfaction over an unflattering story.

"Books like these tend to overhype and sensationalize things, and I think that's the case here," said Jay Carney, the current White House spokesman.

Kantor wrote in excerpts of the book in the New York Times that Michelle Obama "cherished the idea of her husband as a transformational figure" but battled with White House advisors on deals he had cut with Republicans.

The New York Times writer, who interviewed more than 30 current and former Obama employees but did not sit down with the first couple themselves for the book, described Michelle Obama's difficult transition to White House life.

Key to the first lady's frustration was anxiety "about the gap between her vision of her husband's presidency and the reality of what he could deliver," Kantor wrote.