A new memoir by Michelle Obama is set to be released this coming Tuesday.
Becoming, a 426-page reflection of Obama’s life before and after becoming the first lady, shares many details about her life with her husband, former President Barack Obama, and their two daughters. Many are in high anticipation of the release of the book, and for good reason: it seems to be a great read, from the reviews that have come out so far.
“I don’t think anybody will be necessarily prepared to read a memoir like this — especially coming from a first lady,” television producer Shonda Rhimes said, after reading an advanced copy of the book, according to reporting from the Washington Post.
While details about her life will cover a lot of topics, one particular passage is worth looking at: her opinion of the current president, Donald Trump, and how his comments on her husband affected her personally.
Specifically, Obama takes aim at Trump’s comments regarding her husband’s country of birth. For several years, Trump peddled the belief that Barack Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but was actually born in Kenya, which would have disqualified him from the presidency, a conspiracy theory that was commonly known as “birtherism” during the years the Obama family were in the White House.
An early peek inside Michelle Obama’s book
“Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him.” https://t.co/Dzzq079KSW
— Amy Argetsinger (@AmyArgetsinger) November 9, 2018
“The whole thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed,” Obama wrote in her memoir. “But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”
She further explained that it was commentary from Trump that she could not so easily forget, because it put her family’s lives in danger.
“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him.”
During his 2016 run for the presidency, Trump would acknowledge that “birtherism” was wrong — the only way he knew how to at the time, by attacking his political adversary Hillary Clinton and saying she was the one who started the rumors.
“Hillary Clinton started the ‘birther’ controversy,” Trump falsely asserted in September, 2016, per reporting from Politico at the time. “I finished it. Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making the United States great again.”
Nowhere in his comments, that day or since, did Trump ever apologize for spreading the conspiracy theory himself, which he did several times in the five years prior to his statement. PolitiFact also checked whether Trump was accurate in his statements regarding Clinton’s involvement in spreading the baseless rumor, and rated his claim “false.”
More than a year later, reports surfaced that Trump, in speaking with people at the White House, had revived the false claims, telling others once again that he didn’t believe Obama was born in America, per reporting from The Hill.