Trump fires back at Michelle Obama’s ‘unforgivable’ quip by saying her husband wrecked the US military

Donald Trump and Barack Obama. Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump on Friday responded to former first lady Michelle Obama’s upcoming book, in which she says he’s unforgivable for promoting conspiracy theories that her husband was born outside the US.
  • Obama said Trump’s comments put her family’s lives at risk, according to excerpts of the book.
  • Trump responded to the criticism by saying he could never forgive the former president for “what he did to our United States military.”
  • Barack Obama’s presidency saw a government shutdown and sequester of the military budget, which top officials said hurt the military.

President Donald Trump on Friday responded to former first lady Michelle Obama’s upcoming book, in which she describes the president as a “misogynist” and accuses him of threatening her family’s safety with his false insistence that her husband wasn’t born in the US.

According to excerpts of Obama’s new book, “Becoming,” she says in it that because Trump promoted the birther conspiracy theory about her husband and questioned whether he was born in the US, he put her family’s lives at risk in a way that she could never forgive.

“The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed,” Obama wrote, according to The Washington Post. “But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”

She added: “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.”

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Speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday morning, Trump fired back. When asked about the criticism in the book, Trump said former President Barack Obama had done unforgivable things of his own.

“I’ll never forgive him for what he did to our United States military,” Trump said, according to CNBC’s Eamon Javers. “I’ll never forgive him for many other things.”

Trump has frequently criticised Obama’s presidency as presiding over a decline in military readiness and capability. The Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress two years before a larger government shutdown, led to reduced military budgets and inconsistent funding that top military officials said hurt all services.

In August, Trump signed a bill authorizing the largest-ever defence budget, $US686 billion, but has since called for a 5% cut. That’s a big increase from the estimated $US611 billion the US military received in fiscal 2018.

Trump has similarly lashed out at Obama for striking the Iran nuclear deal and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, deals he has described as some of the worst ever.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump eventually walked back his previous birther comments.