Former first lady Michelle Obama delivered a series of stinging rebukes of President Trump without ever mentioning his name, at one point comparing him to a “divorced dad” and the rest of the country to children forced to live with him.
Obama, who was speaking with late-night host Stephen Colbert in London at an event to promote her memoir, “Becoming,” on Sunday, agreed with Colbert’s assessment that the country is like a teenager whose body is changing, according to the Independent.
“We are a teenager,” she said, “And we come from a broken family, we’re a teenager, we’re a little unsettled, and having good parents, it’s tough, sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad and that seems fun until you get sick. That’s what America is going through, living with divorced dad.”
This prompted Colbert to launch into an impersonation of Trump. Obama smiled and shook her head, laughing.
Obama, who is on a book tour in Europe, took more direct shots at Trump than she typically does publicly. She told the audience that she reminds people who are discouraged with the current state of things that the United States twice elected Barack Obama, the Guardian reported.
“That wasn’t make believe,” she said. “We have to remember that what is happening today is true, but what happened before was also true . . . that should give us some solace at some level.”
“Let’s just stop and think about — for anybody who had problems with Barack Obama — what we were troubled by. There were never any indictments,” she added.
“He wore a tan suit once,” Colbert joked.
Trump supporters have pointed to the indictment last week of former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig on charges of making false statements to Justice Department officials. Those alleged statements were made after Craig had left the White House.
She recounted how, during her husband’s presidency, he was accused of not being born in the United States (a conspiracy theory driven by Trump), was asked to show his academic transcripts (another one pushed by Trump) and of not loving the country.
In another veiled dig at the current president, Obama said that the experience in the White House didn’t change her family.
“We were always ourselves, the presidency does not change who you are,” she said, “it reveals who you are.”
In this moment, she said, there is only so much news she can emotionally take in — “I only let some of that stuff into my world when I’m ready. You can’t have a steady diet of fear and frustration coming in,” she said. But she said she is still hopeful for the country’s future.
“It may feel like a dark chapter but any story has its highs and lows, but it continues. Yeah, we’re in a low, but we’ve been lower,” she said. “We’ve had tougher times with more to fear. We’ve lived through slavery and the Holocaust and segregation and we’ve always come out on the other end, better and stronger.”