Michelle Obama rips Trump in new book

The Korea Times - - BOOKS - WASH­ING­TON (AP) —

For­mer first lady Michelle Obama blasts Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in her new book, writ­ing how she re­acted in shock the night she learned he would re­place her hus­band in the Oval Of­fice and tried to “block it all out.”

She also de­nounces Trump’s “birther” cam­paign ques­tion­ing her hus­band’s cit­i­zen­ship, call­ing it big­oted and dan­ger­ous, “de­lib­er­ately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”

In her mem­oir “Be­com­ing,” set to come out Tues­day, Obama writes openly about ev­ery­thing from grow­ing up in Chicago to con­fronting racism in pub­lic life to her amaze­ment at be­com­ing the coun­try’s first black first lady. She also re­flects on early strug­gles in her mar­riage to Barack Obama as he be­gan his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer and was of­ten away. She writes that they met with a coun­selor “a hand­ful of times,” and she came to re­al­ize that she was more “in charge” of her hap­pi­ness than she had re­al­ized. “This was my pivot point,” Obama ex­plains. “My mo­ment of self-ar­rest.”

Obama writes that she as­sumed Trump was “grand­stand­ing” when he an­nounced his pres­i­den­tial run in 2015. She ex­presses dis­be­lief over how so many women would choose a “misog­y­nist” over Hil­lary Clin­ton, “an ex­cep­tion­ally qual­i­fied fe­male can­di­date.” She re­mem­bers how her body “buzzed with fury” af­ter see­ing the in­fa­mous “Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood” tape, in which Trump brags about sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women.

She also ac­cuses Trump of us­ing body lan­guage to “stalk” Clin­ton dur­ing an elec­tion de­bate. She writes of Trump fol­low­ing Clin­ton around the stage, stand­ing nearby and “try­ing to di­min­ish her pres­ence.”

Trump’s mes­sage, ac­cord­ing to Obama, in words which ap­pear in the book in dark­ened print: “I can hurt you and get away with it.”

The As­so­ci­ated Press pur­chased an early copy of “Be­com­ing,” one of the most an­tic­i­pated po­lit­i­cal books in re­cent mem­ory. Obama is ad­mired world­wide and has of­fered few ex­ten­sive com­ments on her White House years. And mem­oirs by for­mer first ladies, in­clud­ing Clin­ton and Laura Bush, are usu­ally best-sellers.

Obama launches her pro­mo­tional tour Tues­day not at a book­store, but at Chicago’s United Cen­ter, where tens of thou­sands of peo­ple have pur­chased tick­ets — from just un­der $30 to thou­sands of dol­lars — to at­tend the event moder­ated by Oprah Win­frey.

Other stops on a tour scaled to rock star di­men­sions are planned at large are­nas from New York City’s Bar­clays Cen­ter to the Los An­ge­les Fo­rum, with guests in­clud­ing Reese With­er­spoon and Sarah Jes­sica Parker. While some fans have crit­i­cized the price as too high, 10 per- cent of tick­ets at each event are be­ing donated to lo­cal char­i­ties, schools and com­mu­nity groups.

In “Be­com­ing,” Obama shares both pain and joy. She writes lov­ingly of her fam­ily and gives a de­tailed ac­count of her courtship with her fu­ture hus­band, whom she met when both were at the Chicago law firm Si­d­ley Austin LLP; she was ini­tially his ad­viser. Sec­re­taries claimed he was both bril­liant and “cute,” al­though Michelle Obama was skep­ti­cal, writ­ing that white peo­ple went “bonkers” any time you “put a suit” on a “half-in­tel­li­gent black man.”

AP-Yon­hap

Michelle Obama par­tic­i­pates in the In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl on NBC’s “To­day” show in New York on Oct. 11.

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