Column: The bravery of Jennifer Siebel Newsom facing Harvey Weinstein — and facing us all
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With the national media running with the story of her bravery, the first lady is facing increasing criticism from Republican lawmakers over her handling of the Harvey Weinstein accusations — and over whether or not she should have taken time out of her busy presidency to discuss them. The initial reporting had the first lady refusing to take a leave of absence, even as the Weinstein allegations escalated.
But as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports, the first lady decided to stand up for herself — and for us all:
First lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has decided to break protocol and take time off while she decides what to do next.
NBC White House correspondent Andrea Mitchell sat down with the first lady Monday and asked her about the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
They are very serious allegations and we have a lot of respect for the way first lady Michelle Obama works and will go to the extent of discussing them with the president, according to Mitchell.
Mitchell’s report came out as the Weinstein allegations, and the #MeToo movement, were gaining steam.
On Friday, the first lady tweeted that Weinstein had “not worked in nearly 70 years in Hollywood,” and “he should be ashamed of his behavior.”
The allegations against Weinstein were first reported on The New York Times. By Saturday evening, the first lady had deleted her first tweet, which said he should be ashamed of his behavior.
In a second tweet on Saturday, she said, “I have also decided that I will not take this leave of absence as many of my staff have urged me to do. Rather, I will focus on the work I was elected to do. It is a difficult time in our nation’s history, and we must continue to confront real challenges head on so we can build a future that everyone can be proud of.”
Then at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, the first lady tweeted that Weinstein should “be ashamed of himself.”
Weinstein, the former studio head behind the “Sopranos” and “Buffy” series, was fired by the Weinstein Co. on October 3.
The first lady’s decision to leave Twitter was