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"Enough Is Enough": Michelle Obama Tears Into Trump in Devasting Speech

"Enough Is Enough": Michelle Obama Tears Into Trump in Devasting Speech

In an emotionally powerful speech Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama issued a blistering critique of Donald Trump, dismantling each of the excuses the Republican presidential nominee and his surrogates have presented in defense of his licentious sexual comments and alleged predatory behavior toward women.

"I can't believe that I am saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women, and I can't stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted," Obama said, referring to the recently surfaced audio recording of a lewd 2005 conversation between Trump and then Access Hollywood personality Billy Bush, during which Trump is heard boasting about groping women without their consent.

"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," she said during an emphatic speech at a campaign event Thursday, in New Hampshire, less than one week after The Washington Post first released the tape. In the past 24 hours, some half-dozen women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior by the real-estate billionaire, including accounts of groping women he had barely met, and watching underage girls change backstage at the Miss Teen USA pageant, which Trump used to own.

Obama called out Republicans who continue to support Trump, characterizing their failure to renounce the G.O.P. nominee as a moral crisis. "This is not normal. 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 women deserve to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse,” she said. “I know it’s is a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong, and we simply cannot endure this or expose our children to this any longer, not for another minute, and let alone four years."

The Trump campaign has downplayed the real-estate mogul’s remarks over the past week, describing them as "locker-room banter." But Obama rebuked that defense. "To dismiss this as everyday locker-room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere," she said. "This is not how somebody who wants to be president of the United States behaves. Because let’s be very clear, strong men, strong men, men who are truly role models don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful."

More From Vanity Fair:
• Michelle Obama Has “No Sympathy” for Melania Trump
• Michelle Obama “Co-hosts” Ellen, Takes One More Step Toward Her Own Daytime Talk Show

• What Will Michelle Obama Do After the White House?

Photo Credit: Getty Images