Former First Lady Michelle Obama has repeatedly said she will never run for political office, but that doesn't mean she's out of the business of making strong public statements. At an event in Brooklyn where she was promoting her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama explained how Trump's presidency compared to her husband's. In her view, the bar was set much lower for President Donald Trump than former President Barack Obama.
“Often time, when you’re the first or the only, the bar shifts a lot, right?" she said at the event, according to the Associated Press. "The bar gets set, you meet it, exceed it, they move the bar. And we're watching that right now — the bar’s just swinging, and swinging.”
Just as scandals are a part of every presidency, the Obama administration had a few scandals of its own, as noted in The Washington Post. However, the moments of Obama's presidency that received the most focus in the conservative media were often minor — think of the controversy over the time he wore a tan suit, the time he saluted with a coffee cup in hand, or the time Fox News host Sean Hannity called him an elitist for putting dijon mustard on a burger.
“It’s a totally new bar — never seen this bar before, ever,” Obama then said, according to the AP, referring to the Trump administration. “But when we were in office, our bar was very different — not getting indicted, and telling the truth.”
The Trump administration has indeed created an entirely new presidential environment when it comes to potentially getting indicted and telling the truth. As of the end of October, Trump had personally made 6,420 false or misleading claims, according to The Washington Post's ongoing Fact Checker database. And when it comes to indictments — or even just tense resignations — the picture is even more grim.
Four former Trump aides — George Papadopolous, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn — have already either been convicted of crimes or pleaded guilty to them, according to The Guardian. In addition to all of that, Robert Mueller's investigation has led to jail time for Michael Cohen, who didn't have an official role in the campaign or the administration, but who did work for many years as Trump's personal lawyer and fixer.
Even beyond the looming question of whether or not the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government in order to get Trump into office, numerous Trump administration officials have left the White House — or been forced out — surrounded by scandal. There's Scott Pruitt, for example, the former EPA head who was forced out after a series of ethics violations, as The Guardian reports. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke also recently resigned, with the majority of his time in the position spent under a cloud of possible ethics violations. A full list would take several articles, as The New York Times listed 40 Trump administration officials who have either been fired, forced to resign, or have left of their own volition.
Michelle Obama has evidently been watching — and comparing.
“This is going to reported on — ‘Michelle Obama throwing shade,’” she said at the event, referring to her comments about Trump. “These are just facts!"