Michelle Obama’s new memoir takes Trump to task


Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Trump in her new book, recalling 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.”

In her memoir “Becoming,” set to come out Tuesday, Michelle Obama denounces the president for bragging in 2005 about sexually assaulting women, according to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy. She says his comments on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape meant, “I can hurt you and get away with it.”

She also accuses Trump of using body language to “stalk” his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, during an election debate. She says Trump followed Clinton around the stage, stood too close and tried to diminish her presence.



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Michelle Obama’s new memoir takes Trump to task


Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Trump in her new book, recalling 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.”

In her memoir “Becoming,” set to come out Tuesday, Michelle Obama denounces the president for bragging in 2005 about sexually assaulting women, according to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy. She says his comments on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape meant, “I can hurt you and get away with it.”

She also accuses Trump of using body language to “stalk” his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, during an election debate. She says Trump followed Clinton around the stage, stood too close and tried to diminish her presence.



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Barack Obama’s Rare Attack Singes Republicans, Donald Trump


Chicago: 

Barack Obama assailed US Republicans Friday for failing to keep President Donald Trump in check, in a forceful return to the political fray aimed at firing up Democratic voters ahead of key elections.

Since leaving office, the 44th US president has pointedly avoided direct criticism of his successor, making a calculated effort not to utter Trump’s name.

But on Friday the gloves came off.

“What happened to the Republican Party?” asked Obama, accusing Trump of “capitalizing” on “fear and anger.”

In a nod to the turbulence of the past week — which saw allegations of a secret “resistance” working inside the White House — the 57-year-old Obama poured scorn on the idea that “everything will turn out okay” because some of Trump’s staff are secretly ignoring the boss’s orders.

“That’s not how our democracy is supposed to work,” Obama thundered, in reference to the revelations by investigative journalist Bob Woodward whose new book describes Trump’s aides battling to rein in an angry, uninformed president.

The Democratic former president assailed Republicans as “unwilling to find the backbone” to challenge Trump head-on — accusing them instead of answering “outrageous” actions with “vague statements of disappointment.”

“They’re not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that’s coming out of this White House, and then saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’re preventing the other 10 percent,'” he said.

Obama’s remarks to an auditorium of college students in Illinois — the state he represented before he won the White House — marked the opening salvo in a series of campaign stops aimed at boosting fellow Democrats in November’s midterm elections, when voters will elect much of Congress and 36 state governorships.

Trump A ‘Symptom’

In a wide-ranging speech punctuated by frequent applause, Obama criticized the divisive politics of the era, decrying Trump’s attacks on the media and the judiciary, his eagerness to work with Russia while neglecting traditional alliances.

But he also sounded a hopeful note about the apparent mobilization of Democratic voters.

“Out of this political darkness I am seeing a great awakening of citizenship all across the country,” Obama said.

Calling out the president by name, Obama said Trump was a “symptom, not the cause” of broader ailments in the nation’s politics.

The president — who was traveling in North Dakota — took a swipe back at his predecessor after the speech, telling a crowd of supporters at a fundraiser: “I watched it, but I fell asleep.”

“I found he’s very good, very good for sleeping.”

Taking aim at a key campaign argument by Trump’s Republicans, Obama challenged them for laying claim to a roaring economic recovery that saw 200,000 jobs added last month.

“When you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started,” he said, recalling that he had inherited a dangerous economic downturn and left office amid a recovery.

Trump fired back by pointing at the country’s 4.2 percent growth rate for the second quarter — accusing Obama of “trying to take credit for this incredible thing that’s happening.”

Had Democrats won control of Congress two year ago, he jeered, “instead of having 4.2 up, I believe, honestly, we’d have 4.2 down.”

‘You’ve Got To Vote’

Having devoted most of his time since leaving office to writing his memoirs and setting up his presidential foundation in Chicago, Obama will be back in the limelight in coming weeks with campaign stops planned in California Saturday, and Ohio on Thursday.

The hugely popular former first lady Michelle Obama will also be bringing star power to Democratic races in Las Vegas and Miami late this month.

Democrats are hoping to ride an anti-Trump “blue wave” to take control of the House of Representatives, and are also battling for seats in the Senate.

Obama’s speech was a preview of the arguments he will make on the campaign trail — partly in an attempt to reach out to voters in parts of the country he won in 2012, but which voted for Trump in 2016.

The former president implored the young Illinois audience to take a stand in November, warning “our democracy depends on it.”

“This is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of the United States, need to determine just who it is that we are, just what it is that we stand for.”

“You’ve got to do more than retweet a hashtag, you’ve got to vote,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Obamas will miss Aretha Franklin’s funeral, but letter will be read at Detroit service, reports say


President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama won’t be attending the funeral of Aretha Franklin on Friday in Detroit and have instead sent a letter that will be read during the service.

A spokeswoman for the family, Katie Hill, confirmed Wednesday to the Detroit Free Press that the Obamas will not be in attendance, adding that the Rev. Al Sharpton will read the letter.

Former President George W. Bush has also sent a letter that will be read during the service for Franklin, the legendary singer who died from pancreatic cancer Aug. 16 at age 76, the newspaper reported.

Obama instead will offer a eulogy along with Bush on Saturday morning at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., for the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, who succumbed to brain cancer Aug. 25 at age 81.

After the death of Franklin, the Obama family released a moving statement, celebrating the life of the music icon.

“America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine,” the Obamas wrote.

“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade — our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance,” they continued.

“Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song,” the family added.

Franklin was one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. The soul icon had a long history with the presidents, often performing for them. In 1977, she sang at former President Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Gala. She also famously performed at Obama’s January 2009 inauguration.

“May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.”

– The Obama family

Franklin’s funeral will feature other high-profile guests and speakers. Former President Bill Clinton, for whom Franklin sang during his inaugural ceremony in 1993 and later at the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner in 1999, will reportedly be in attendance, the Free Press reported.

Clinton, who awarded Franklin the National Medal of Arts and Humanities, is expected to speak during Friday’s funeral service.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.





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Obamas will miss Aretha Franklin’s funeral, but letter will be read at Detroit service, reports say


President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama won’t be attending the funeral of Aretha Franklin on Friday in Detroit and have instead sent a letter that will be read during the service.

A spokeswoman for the family, Katie Hill, confirmed Wednesday to the Detroit Free Press that the Obamas will not be in attendance, adding that the Rev. Al Sharpton will read the letter.

Former President George W. Bush has also sent a letter that will be read during the service for Franklin, the legendary singer who died from pancreatic cancer Aug. 16 at age 76, the newspaper reported.

Obama instead will offer a eulogy along with Bush on Saturday morning at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., for the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, who succumbed to brain cancer Aug. 25 at age 81.

After the death of Franklin, the Obama family released a moving statement, celebrating the life of the music icon.

“America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine,” the Obamas wrote.

“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade — our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance,” they continued.

“Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song,” the family added.

Franklin was one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. The soul icon had a long history with the presidents, often performing for them. In 1977, she sang at former President Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Gala. She also famously performed at Obama’s January 2009 inauguration.

“May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.”

– The Obama family

Franklin’s funeral will feature other high-profile guests and speakers. Former President Bill Clinton, for whom Franklin sang during his inaugural ceremony in 1993 and later at the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner in 1999, will reportedly be in attendance, the Free Press reported.

Clinton, who awarded Franklin the National Medal of Arts and Humanities, is expected to speak during Friday’s funeral service.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.





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