First lady Michelle Obama lashed out at Donald Trump Thursday, saying the sexually charged language he used on a 2005 video that was released last week was “shocking,” “demeaning”, and below the “basic standards of human decency.”
“The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for President of the United States, who over the course his lifetime in the course of this campaign has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning, I simply will not repeat anything here today,” Obama said while campaigning for Hillary Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire. “And last week we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women.”
She repeated, “And I can’t believe I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”
The first lady, as she has done throughout the election, never mentioned Trump by name, only referring to him as “a candidate.”
Trump has yet to respond to the first lady, but the White House hasn’t put it past him to retaliate, as he has with his rivals throughout the election.
But White House officials are warning him not to.
“I can’t think of a bolder way for Donald Trump to lose even more standing than he already has than by engaging the first lady of the United States,” principal deputy White House press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters on Air Force One.
The only time so far in the campaign that Trump has mentioned Michelle Obama was at the second presidential debate after Clinton referred to the first lady as her friend. Trump claimed the first lady had attacked Clinton in past television ads.
“I’ve gotten to see some of the most vicious commercials I’ve ever seen of Michelle Obama talking about you, Hillary,” Trump said during the debate.
When confronted at the debate about the lewd comments in the video, Trump minimized the words, using the now-famous term “locker room talk.”
But the first lady doesn’t agree.
“This is not something we can ignore. It’s not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season,” she said. “Because this was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn’t just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior.
“And actually bragging about kissing and groping women. Using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV.”
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