In her forthcoming memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama doesn't hold back when discussing how she believes President Donald Trump has put her family at risk by pushing the false birther conspiracy theory.
"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed," she writes in an excerpt from the book, which was obtained ahead of the November 13 release date by the Washington Post and other outlets. "But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks. 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."
For years, Trump promoted a baseless theory that President Obama was born in Kenya and not Hawaii, despite the former president releasing both short-form and long-form birth certificates proving the opposite. Even though he reportedly finally dropped it in 2016, he still said it behind closed doors and had already fueled enough racial resentment among his base to fill several sold-out arenas. Melania Trump supported her husband's racist claims.
Michelle Obama has never gotten as personal about her feelings on Trump as she does in the memoir. While she criticized his proposed policies and comments about women on the 2016 campaign trail, she chose to "go high." But now, she's not shying away from sharing her feelings.
Unsurprisingly, Trump pushed back viciously, according to the Post, telling reporters on Friday that "she got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always insist that you come up with controversy. Well, I’ll give you a little controversy back. I’ll never forgive [President Obama] for what he did to the United States military by not funding it properly. It was depleted. ... She talked about safety. What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you."
Michelle Obama's book is already being praised for shedding new light on the views and experiences of a beloved figure. Aside from Trump, she candidly discusses her miscarriage, going through IVF, and marriage counseling during troubled times in her relationship. "I don’t think anybody will be necessarily prepared to read a memoir like this — especially coming from a first lady," TV producer Shonda Rhimes told the Post. We've got our reading glasses and giant cups of tea (literal and figurative) at the ready for this one.