As Michelle Obama prepares for the release of her highly anticipated memoir Becoming (and a star-studded arena book tour), she’s making clear she’ll be holding nothing back. The notoriously positive former first lady is perhaps at her most revealing in Becoming, as early excerpts which have been published by The Washington Post and The New York Times — which EW has confirmed — detail her calling out President Donald Trump for his role in the birther movement and facing challenges in her marriage and attempts to have children.
In Becoming, Obama condemns Trump for his sexist and misogynistic rhetoric and states that she would “never forgive” him for his role in popularizing and championing the birther movement, which claims that her husband, President Barack Obama, was not born in the United States, writing: “The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed.”
The former first lady speaks to readers not only as a political figure and wife, but also as a concerned mother, asking, “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.”
Trump was quick to respond to Obama during a press conference on the White House grounds, stating, “She got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always insist that you come up with a little controversial — well, I’ll give you a little controversy back. I’ll never forgive [Barack Obama] for what he did to our United States military by not funding it properly. It was depleted, everything was old and tired, and I came in and I had to fix it and I’m in the process of spending tremendous amounts of money. So, I’ll never forgive him for what he did to our military. I’ll never forgive him for what he did in many other ways, which I’ll talk to you about in the future.”
Obama also goes into detail about her difficulties conceiving, revealing that she suffered a miscarriage. Due to the lack of transparency about miscarriages at the time, Obama revealed that she did not realize how common they were, and her inability to conceive left her feeling as though she had failed in some way. She also reveals that she had both her daughters, Malia and Sasha, via in vitro fertilization.
While the Obamas have been the model example of a successful partnership and marriage, the former first lady proves candid in the book about the struggles she and her husband have faced. Obama also reveals that she felt resentful about administering her own IVF shots while her husband was away working, writing, “None of this was his fault, but it wasn’t equal, either.” This led the pair to marriage counseling, which provided them with the help they needed.
Becoming publishes Tuesday.
—With reporting by David Canfield