Michelle Obama's forthcoming memoir, Becoming, out Tuesday (November 13), has Washington talking — specifically, the President of the United States.
After reports circulated on Friday (November 9) that Michelle wrote that she would "never forgive" Donald Trump for his part in the "birther" conspiracy theory, which alleged that her husband, former President Barack Obama, was not born citizen in the United States, it didn't take long, mere hours, for Trump to address her comments.
"She got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always expect a little controversy," the 45th President told reporters outside of the White House. "I'll give you a little controversy back, I'll never forgive [President Barack Obama] for what he did to our U.S. military. It was depleted, and I had to fix it," Trump alleged. "Becuase she talked about safety — What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you."
In Becoming, the former first lady writes that Trump's role in the sharing of the false-claim about Barack being born in Kenya rather than Hawaii (like his birth certificate states), pushed the birther movement forward, putting their daughters, Sasha and Malia (then 10 and 13, respectively) at risk. "The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks?" she wrote in her book, according to The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the memoir. "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."
The birther conspiracy began during Barack's 2008 presidential campaign. However, the movement lost traction shortly after his election. But, in 2011, Trump began to again question the then-president's citizenship publicly — reviving the once-dead movement — even asking Barack to release his birth certificate.
"[Barack Obama has] spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue. Millions of dollars in legal fees trying to get away from this issue," Trump alleged during a March 2011 appearance on Fox News, according to People. "And I’ll tell you what, I brought it up, just routinely, and all of a sudden a lot facts are emerging and I’m starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country."
A month later, Former President Obama released original copies of his birth certificate, shooting down the false rumor. "We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Barack said at the time, according to CNN. "I’ve been puzzled at the degree to which this [story] just kept on going." Adding, "We’re not going to be able to [meet challenges] if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers."
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