Trump Proposes Investigation into the Obamas' Book Deal

President Donald Trump attacked Democrats over continued investigations into his administration, stating that investigators should look into the book deals signed by Barack and Michelle Obama.

While sitting in the Oval Office on July 26, Trump told reporters that investigators should be concerned about the Obamas’ book deal, USA Today reported. "Let's look into Obama the way they've looked at me," Trump told reporters, according to the publication. "Let's subpoena all of his records."

Despite calling for an investigation into the deal, he did not further specify what he wanted scrutinized. Trump also called on lawmakers to investigate Hillary Clinton, which he has insisted on since his 2016 presidential campaign, The Hill reported.

“Let’s subpoena all of the records having to do with Hillary Clinton and all of the nonsense that went on with Clinton and her foundation and everything else," he said. The Obamas signed a joint book deal with Penguin Random House in 2017 worth more than $65 million, the Financial Times previously reported. Obama wrote two other books before his presidency: the 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope in 2006. The former president is currently working on a new memoir to be released by Penguin Random House in 2020, according to HuffPost.

Released last year, Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, tells the story of her life from living in the South Side of Chicago to moving into the White House.

“With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it — in her own words and on her own terms,” the book’s website reads. As of March 2019, the book has sold over ten million copies, CBS News previously reported.

David Drake, the executive vice president and publisher of Crown Publishing, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, previously told the news station that the former first lady’s book "is on pace to become one of the best-selling memoirs of all time.”

“I'm not aware, in my personal experience with Penguin Random House, that we ever sold 10 million units of a memoir," chief executive Markus Dohle previously told The Wall Street Journal. In her memoir, Michelle criticized Trump and expressed how shocked she was when she learned he was going to be the next president, according to CBS News. She also claimed the anti-Obama "birther" campaign, pushed by Trump, was "deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."

Since leaving office, the Obamas have continued to speak out against Trump and his administration.

After Trump criticized the city of Baltimore and US Representative Elijah Cummings, Obama tweeted a Washington Post op-ed signed by 149 African Americans who served in his administration. In the op-ed, they said Trump’s tweets are “part of a pattern in our country designed to denigrate us as well as keep us separate and afraid.”

“I’ve always been proud of what this team accomplished during my administration,” Obama tweeted on July 27. “But more than what we did, I’m proud of how they’re continuing to fight for an America that’s better.”

The former first lady also took to Twitter following Trump’s comments about Baltimore in order to shout out to an all-girls STEP team from the city. In the video, the girls shout the first lady’s famous quote, “When they go low, we go high.”

“On #NationalDanceDay, I'm shouting out the Lethal Ladies, a Baltimore STEP team who I saw perform back in 2017. I’m so proud of you all — and everyone who’s dancing today!” the former first lady tweeted.

Other lawmakers slammed Trump this weekend after he called the city of Baltimore and Cummings’ district “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” The city’s mayor, Bernard C. “Jack” Young, released a statement following the president’s attack, saying his words were “hurtful and dangerous.”

“It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American city like Baltimore, and to viciously attack US Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero. Mr. Trump’s rhetoric is hurtful and dangerous to the people he’s sworn to represent,” Young wrote. “Mr. Trump, you are a disappointment to the people of Baltimore, our country, and to the world.”

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.