Obama's emotional call to George Floyd's family was the first time they 'really experienced solace' since his death, according to Al Sharpton

insider@insider.com (Jake Lahut)
U.S. President Barack Obama makes an election night phone call to Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) from his Treaty Room office in the White House residence a couple of minutes after midnight in this November 3, 2010 file photograph.

Reuters/Pete Souza/White House handout

  • Former President Barack Obama brought "solace" to George Floyd's family in an emotional 25-minute phone call, according to a report in the New York Times.
  • "That was the first time, I think, that the Floyd family really experienced solace since he died," Rev. Al Sharpton told the Times.
  • "I want you to have hope. I want you to know you are not alone. I want you to know that Michelle and I will do anything you want me to do," Obama reportedly said during the 25-minute call.
  • The call shows how powerful Obama's role remains in American public life as a relatively young former president at 58-years-old.
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Former President Barack Obama made a call to George Floyd's family that brought an emotional effect unparalleled by other leaders, according to Rev. Al Sharpton's telling in a New York Times feature.

"That was the first time, I think, that the Floyd family really experienced solace since he died," Sharpton said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden called the family and was well received, according to Floyd's brother, Philonese, while President Donald Trump "didn't give me the opportunity to even speak."

Yet Obama's call on June 4, according to Times reporters Elaina Plott and Glenn Thrush, had a real impact just about an hour before George's memorial service.

"I want you to have hope. I want you to know you are not alone. I want you to know that Michelle and I will do anything you want me to do," Obama said during the call, according to Sharpton and two others who were able to confirm the account.

The conversation was "emotional," lasting 25 minutes in "a reprise of the calls he made to grieving families over his eight years in office," according to the Times.

The call underscored the precarious and somewhat unprecedented role the 58-year-old former president is navigating out of office. 

Obama is familiar with taking on the role of griever-in-chief.

Poignant moments remain from his presidency, such as his emotional speech after the Sandy Hook shooting and his rendition of "Amazing Grace" following a mass shooting at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

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