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Michelle Obama Won't Back Down From Criticizing Trump

Michelle Obama Won't Back Down From Criticizing Trump


The first lady told People that just because she and her husband are aiding in the transition effort doesn't mean she takes back anything she said about Trump during the election.

Michelle Obama is going to keep fighting Donald Trump. The first lady sat down with People to "say goodbye" to the White House, as the magazine's cover story reads, and the 52-year-old said she won't back down from the searing criticisms of the president-elect she made on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton.

"Anything that I felt about the election I said and I stand by," Obama said, adding, "Once you do what you can do, then the rest is easy. It was in the hands of the American people."

The first lady was one of Trump's most outspoken and persistent critics throughout the 2016 campaign, taking the Republican to task for his hot-headed temperament, refusal to say whether he would concede the election if Clinton won the electoral vote, and leaked audio tapes in which he claimed that it's OK if you sexually assault women as long as you're famous.

"We need an adult in the White House," Obama said of the billionaire businessman in September, claiming that he ran a campaign based on "name-calling." "When making life-or-death, war-or-peace decisions, a president can't just pop off or lash out irrationally," she said.

She cited his role in the birther moment, a campaign that falsely claimed that President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S.

"If a candidate is erratic and threatening," she continued, "if a candidate traffics in prejudice, fear and lies on the campaign trail, if a candidate thinks that not paying taxes makes you smart or that it's good business when people lose their homes, if a candidate regularly and flippantly makes cruel and insulting comments about women -- about how we look, how we act -- well, sadly, that's who that candidate really is."

Obama also called out Trump for declining to say whether he would accept the results of election if Clinton were voted into the White House. He further claimed that the voting system was "rigged" in favor of his opponent.

Obama responded that his allegations threatened "the very idea of America itself."

"You do not keep American democracy 'in suspense,' because look, too many people have marched and protested, and fought and died for this democracy," Obama said during a Clinton campaign stop in Phoenix this October.

"Our democracy is revered around the world, and free elections are the best way on earth to choose our leaders," she continued. "This is how we elected John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, two George Bushes, and Barack Obama. It has worked for decades. We are fortunate, and I have traveled the world, we are fortunate to live in a country where the voters decide our elections, where the voters decide who wins or loses. Period. End of story."

Most famously, Obama gave a fiery, impassioned speech railing against Trump after audio of an appearance on Access Hollywood was released in which he tells the entertainment news program's then-host, Billy Bush, that if you're famous, you can "do anything" you want to women, including "grab them by the pussy."

"Just kiss," he added. "I don't even wait."

On the Clinton campaign trail in New Hampshire, the first lady said she "couldn't stop thinking about" his comments and what they mean for women all over the country.

"It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted," Obama said, adding, "This is not something that we can ignore. It's not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. ... This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women."

"This is not normal," she continued. "This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn't matter what party you belong to -- Democrat, Republican, independent -- no woman deserves to be treated this way."

But despite her continued criticisms, Obama said she would continue to assist in any transition efforts necessary to prepare Trump for the responsibility of the presidency.

"This is our democracy, and this is how it works," the first lady said. "We are ready to work with the next administration and make sure they are as successful as they can be. Because that's what's best for this country."

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