Tuesday March 26th, 2019 4:25AM

Michelle Obama rips Trump in new book

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book, recalling how she reacted in shock the night she learned he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to "block it all out."

In her memoir "Becoming," set to come out Tuesday, Obama writes candidly about everything from being subjected to racist comments to early struggles in her marriage to Barack Obama as he began his political career and was often away.

She writes that they met with a counselor "a handful of times," and she came to realize that she was more "in charge" of her happiness than she had realized. "This was my pivot point," Obama explains. "My moment of self-arrest."

Obama denounces Trump for bragging in 2005, on the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, about sexually assaulting women. She also accuses him of using body language to "stalk" Hillary Clinton, his 2016 opponent, during an election debate. She writes of Trump following Clinton around the stage, standing nearby and "trying to diminish her presence."

Trump's message, according to Obama, in words which appear in the book in darkened print: "I can hurt you and get away with it."

The Associated Press purchased an early copy of "Becoming," one of the most anticipated political books in recent memory. Obama is admired worldwide and has offered few extensive comments on her White House years. And memoirs by former first ladies are usually best-sellers.

Obama launches her promotional tour this month not at a bookstore, but at Chicago's United Center, where tens of thousands of people are scrambling for tickets — from just under $30 to thousands of dollars — to attend the event moderated by Oprah Winfrey. Other stops are planned at large arenas across the nation, with guests including Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker. Ten percent of tickets at each event are being donated to local charities, schools and community groups.

"Becoming" is part of a joint book deal with former President Barack Obama, whose memoir is expected next year, that is believed worth tens of millions of dollars. The Obamas have said they will donate a "significant portion" of their author proceeds to charity, including the Obama Foundation.

Michelle Obama has long said she has no interest in running for office, although she held a few campaign-style rallies before the midterms urging people to register to vote. The rallies were part of her work as co-chairman of the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization When We All Vote.

Last year, she launched a program to help empower girls worldwide through education. The Global Girls Alliance aims to support more than 1,500 grassroots organizations combating the challenges girls encounter in their communities.

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