One week after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres is still having a hard time processing the honor. But speaking on her show Tuesday, DeGeneres expressed gratitude to the president for the tribute.
“I was so honored to be with that group of people. It was amazing,” DeGeneres said. (Her class of honorees included Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and more). “The ceremony was incredible. If you haven’t seen what President Obama said, go to our website, it was beautiful. I don’t even know how to express in words how honored I felt getting that from the President of the United States who I love so very much.”
While the ceremony was an “amazing” experience for DeGeneres, getting into the White House was a bit more troublesome: The host forgot her ID and wasn’t allowed into the building. DeGeneres’ wife Portia De Rossi posted a photo of DeGeneres sitting outside the White House, waiting to get inside.
“And all the honorees are passing me. Bruce Springsteen and Patti [Scialfa, his wife] are passing me and they’re like, ‘How do you not bring ID to the White House?'” DeGeneres recalled, before pointing to her face and saying, “And I was like, ‘This is my ID, Bruce. This is my ID.'”
After the tweet went viral, DeGeneres was soon allowed access. “We tweeted it out and after it was viewed by millions of people in about five minutes, someone came out and went, ‘You can come in now.’ I was causing a fuss,” DeGeneres recalled.
Watch her full comments below.