Michelle Obama, stumping for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at Southern New Hampshire University Thursday, told Americans during an impassioned speech that Donald Trump's sexual assault comments have "shaken me to my core." Obama also criticized Trump's "locker room talk" defense, a phrase the GOP nominee leaned on heavily during the second presidential debate.
"This was not just a lewd conversation," Obama said Thursday. "This wasn't locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior." Obama also noted that the controversy surrounding the comments, revealed in a leaked 2005 tape of a conversation between Trump and NBC personality Billy Bush, had nothing to do with a simple difference in politics.
"This isn't about politics," Obama said. "It's about basic human decency. It's about right and wrong." According to Obama, "now is the time" for the nation to stand up against Trump's rhetoric. "What do you think this is doing to our children?" Obama added.
Trump has criticized the media's coverage of the tape, in addition to the wave of sexual assault allegations placed against him in recent days. According to the Guardian, Trump called the accusations part of some sort of attack campaign placed forth by Clinton's team during a speech Thursday. "These attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies," Trump said. "The only thing Hillary Clinton has going for herself is the press… what they say is false and slanderous in virtually every respect."