First Lady: Secret Service Agents Taught Malia How to Drive

First Lady: Secret Service Agents Taught Malia How to Drive

In this March 7, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama and Malia Obama arrive at Air Force One at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. Some teenagers get driving lessons from their parents. Other teens are taught by licensed instructors. But Malia Obama isn’t your average 16-year-old: Her driving lessons were provided by the U.S. Secret Service. That’s what Malia’s mother, Michelle Obama, tells celebrity chef and daytime talk-show host Rachael Ray in an interview scheduled to air Thursday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
In this March 7, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama and Malia Obama arrive at Air Force One at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some teenagers get driving lessons from their parents. Other teens are taught by licensed instructors.

But Malia Obama isn’t your average 16-year-old: Her driving lessons were provided by the U.S. Secret Service.

Asked who taught Malia how to drive, first lady Michelle Obama told celebrity chef and daytime talk-show host Rachael Ray in an interview that it was the armed agents who provide around-the-clock security for the family.

“The Secret Service, actually, because they wouldn’t let me in the car with her,” Mrs. Obama said in an excerpt of the interview that was released by Ray’s program. The full interview is set to air Thursday.

Mrs. Obama hasn’t driven herself in seven or eight years, she said.

She added that driving gives Malia “a sense of normalcy,” helping her feel like the rest of her friends who are also driving. “And my kids have got to learn how to live in the world like normal kids.”

When Ray says that the Obamas seem “so grounded,” the first lady replies that her “hope is just to make sure that they (her daughters) come out of this thing as functioning adults, you know?”

Mrs. Obama, whose younger daughter Sasha is 13, said Malia also drives herself around Washington.

“She always has security around but in order for her to learn how to drive she had to drive on her own,” the first lady said during a separate interview on “Live! With Kelly and Michael” earlier this week. “So once she was legally permitted to drive on her own, she gets in her car.”

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