WASHINGTON — Among the voices of support for France is Michelle Obama, who on Friday expressed her sadness over this week’s shooting in Paris. The first lady made an unprecedented phone call to Julie Gayet, the mistress of French president François Hollande, who since Hollande’s split from Valerie Trierweiler last year has taken on official duties.
“As someone who enjoys provocative comic strips like ‘Garfield’ and ‘Cathy,’ I would like to say just how disappointed I am about the murder of that Jesuis Charlie fellow, who by all accounts was a very talented cartoonist,” Mrs. Obama said through an interpreter. “And although I may not agree with what Jesuis had to say, specifically in regards to his depictions of a certain prophet as a bucktoothed, goat-humping pedophile, I’ll defend to the death his right to say it. Vive la France.”
“Over the years, Barack and I have met a great number of important French people, and I always found them to be funny and gracious, even if I can’t understand a word they say,” she said. “This one time, President Hollande was at the White House, jumping around and shouting for a whole hour before I understood that he was asking for the bathroom.”
This is the second time Mrs. Obama has joined a prominent hashtag campaign. Earlier this year, she was lauded for having a photograph taken while holding a sign reading #BringBackOurGirls, which months later she admitted thinking was a reference to hundreds of missing girl scouts who were eventually discovered to be imprisoned in a New Jersey cookie factory.