WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump pushed back on comments former first lady Michelle Obama made about him in her forthcoming memoir, in which she wrote that she will "never forgive" Trump for his role in the "birther" movement. 

Trump told reporters Friday before he departed for Paris that Michelle Obama "got paid a lot of money" to write that book and they always expect a little controversy."

"I'll give you a little controversy back," Trump said. "I'll never forgive (President Barack Obama) for what he did to our U.S. military. It was depleted, and I had to fix it. What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you."

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In her forthcoming memoir, "Becoming," Michelle Obama calls the "birther" conspiracy that claims her husband wasn't born in the United States "crazy and mean-spirited," and said it was "deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks." She wrote that Trump's "loud and reckless innuendos" endangered her family, especially her daughters.

“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington?" she wrote. "What if that person went looking for our girls?"

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Trump long promoted the debunked theory that his predecessor was born in Kenya, tweeting about it as early as 2011. He continued to repeat it throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, and attempted to blame Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for fostering the theory. In September 2016, Trump changed course and said he believed Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.