Justice

Michelle Obama Responds to Trump's Sexually Explicit Tape

At a Thursday rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his now infamous comments made on a leaked 2005 recording.

Michelle Obama

Obama said that she recently felt inspired during a meeting with a group of young women, but that the election itself hasn't been so inspiring because we have been hearing "hurtful, hateful language about women" on the campaign trail.

"We have a candidate for president of the United States who over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning, that I simply will not repeat anything here today," she said. "Last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. I can't believe I'm saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulted women."

She added that she hasn't been able to stop thinking about the Trump tapes (as they've been colloquially been called) and said this was not "locker room talk," as Trump has argued:

"It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted. So while I'd love nothing more than to pretend like this isn't happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream. 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. 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."

"The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman, it is cruel," she continued. "It's frightening, The truth is, it hurts. It's like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you're walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body. Or when you see that guy at work who stands a little too close, stares a little too long, and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. It's that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them or forced himself on him, and they've said no, but he didn't listen."

Obama's speech received a lot of powerful feedback on social media:

Trump issued an apology video last Friday following the release of the tape, and at the second presidential debate on Sunday, he denied doing the things he stated in the video. Since the release of the video by The Washington Post and his comments at Sunday's debate, more women have come out with allegations that Trump groped them or acted inappropriately towards them. Trump and his campaign have denied these allegations.

You can watch Obama's speech below, at around 24:30: