President Donald Trump said Friday he could "never forgive" President Barack Obama for the condition in which he left the U.S. military.
A reporter asked Trump for his reaction to former First Lady Michelle Obama’s forthcoming book, Becoming. Obama "rips" into Trump in the book, set for release next week, according to NBC News. "Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk," Obama said, per ABC News. "And for this, I’d never forgive him."
Speaking to assembled press on the White House South Lawn, Trump offered to give them "a little controversy" in response.
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"Oh Michelle Obama wrote that?" Trump said in response. "I haven't seen it. I guess she wrote a book. She got paid a lot of money to write a book. And they always insist you come up with [controversy]. Well I'll give you a little controversy back," he said.
He proceeded to decry President Barack Obama’s improper handling of military readiness.
"I'll never forgive him for what he did to our United States military by not funding it properly," he said. "It was depleted; everything was old and tired."
"And I came in and I had to fix it," Trump continued. "What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you," he said, gesturing at reporters.
Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act in August, providing troop expansion, equipment replacement, and a 2.6 percent troop pay raise. The NDAA provided what the Heritage Foundation called a "critical boost" to military lethality and readiness.