MICHELLE OBAMA has turned into a frightening first lady who, say sources, viciously doles out daily doses of abuse, cruel punishments, and humiliation to her terrified staffers – and her emotionally battered husband.
As their marriage falls apart in the wake of the president’s womanizing ways, an angry and bitter Michelle has earned the nickname “Monster Michelle” from staffers who watch in fear as she goes on the warpath if she doesn’t get her own way.
“The White House has turned into the ‘White House of Horrors!’” a top Washington insider revealed.
The bullying, berating and verbal beat-downs that go on behind closed doors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are shocking, The ENQUIRER has learned from insiders.
“Michelle has been labeled a ‘ruthless monster’ for bullying not only Barack, but her loyal staff. She dishes out abuse and punishment for the slightest of infractions. She doesn’t give a damn who she humiliates, even the president. Her screaming tantrums have become more frequent and even Barack is complaining, ‘Michelle is torturing me!’”
“If there’s a divorce coming, Barack is losing the battle, but he’s sticking in his loveless marriage for the sake of his legacy,” say insiders.
Former White House assistant press secretary Reid Cherlin, who worked for the Obamas from 2008 through 2011, pulled no punches in a recent article about the nightmare that’s going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., proclaiming that Michelle has turned the White House East Wing, where she rules, into “the Worst Wing.”
In the piece, published in the “New Republic,” Cherlin wrote: “(The) first lady’s office can be a confining, frustrating, even miserable place to work.
“Jealousy and discontentment have festered, as courtiers squabble over the allocation of responsibility and access to Mrs. Obama, both of which can be aggravatingly scarce.”
One former aide quoted as a source in the story showed just how petty Michelle has become with her demands, revealing: “The first lady having the wrong pencil skirt (laid out for her) on Monday is just as big of a f*** up as someone speaking on the record when they didn’t mean to or a policy initiative that completely failed.”
Says another source: “While Michelle has been slammed for destroying the ‘East Wing,’ where the first lady’s offices are located, the fact is she’s made the famous ‘West Wing,’ where the president works, the worst wing because when she comes over she makes Barack’s staffers walk on egg shells because of her explosive behavior – which seems to only grow worse each and every day.”
When the launch of Michelle’s highly touted “Let’s Move!” fitness campaign got off to a less than stellar start, the first lady hit the roof and tortured the staffers she held responsible, confirms the source.
“She made them write a report on what could be improved, and it had to be redone a half-dozen times – once because she just didn’t like the font it was printed in,” the source divulged.
The fitness campaign improved when Michelle’s communications director Kristina Schake brought “Tonight” host Jimmy Fallon and NBA star LeBron James on board to promote the project. Schake had the misfortune of being too good at her job, because the president’s men tried to convince her she’d be better off working for Barack.
That was a big mistake. Furious Michelle found out. Her husband was not going to steal her prize staffer, who hadn’t gotten her approval for any job changes. Soon, Schake left the White House for a job with L’Oreal cosmetics.
“Barack was humiliated that efforts to promote a loyal staffer ended up in her leaving the White House,” said a government insider, “but Michelle’s attitude seemed to be ‘if I can’t have her no one can.’”
In light of Cherlin’s revelations, the White House felt it had to defend Michelle and issued this statement: “From day one, the first lady ambitiously set out to make a measurable impact on the lives of everyday American families. The first lady is laser-focused on moving the needle wherever and whenever possible.”
But according to the D.C. insider, the needle stings a lot of people. The pressure that “Monster Michelle” – as she’s called behind her back – puts on her underlings is so severe that turnover rate for her staff of about 25 is among the highest of recent first ladies. We learned that Michelle lost nine employees in her first three years on the job!
“She’s tough as nails, and has really high expectations. That can be hard for some people,” the insider explained.
“Her events are planned months in advance, and Michelle is such a perfectionist that staffers are often terrorized. If you get it wrong, you will be tortured by being made to do tedious, trivial tasks as punishment.
“For example, Michelle goes out a lot with her girlfriends. She’s always asking staff to make sure certain things are on the menus. She’s very particular. Once she ended up at one of her favorite spots and they didn’t have what she wanted, and there was hell to pay for the staffer who called in advance.”
ACCORDING to another source, the 50-year-old first lady once berated a staffer who was five minutes late to a meeting so badly the woman burst into tears and fled.
“Michelle is indeed heartless,” the source continued. “She came into her office one day and found a junior staffer putting flowers on her desk.”
Michelle hadn’t asked for flowers and asked who had.
The frightened staffer said they were from the president, thinking the gesture by Barack was truly romantic.
Michelle didn’t care. The staffer hadn’t asked permission and the source said the first lady snapped: “Why don’t you see if you can get him to sign your paycheck?” – and then fired her on the spot.
“If you’re not perfect, you’re gone,” said the source.
As The ENQUIRER has reported, Michelle has flown into jealous rages over her husband’s flirtatious behavior. She was humiliated by the president’s “selfie” with Danish prime minister Helle Thorning- Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in December, say sources, who added that Michelle was outraged when she learned the Secret Service covered up romantic dalliances by the president on at least two occasions.
One particularly explosive episode occurred because of the 52-year-old president’s infatuation with gorgeous “Scandal” star Kerry Washington.
“Michelle ordered Kerry Washington banned (from the White House),” said the government insider. “And Michelle made it clear that if anyone defied her orders, they would find themselves working in Lafayette Square – a reference to the public park near the White House – meaning they would be fired.”
The ENQUIRER recently revealed that marital tension between the Obamas keeps growing.
They had their worst fight ever over Michelle’s lavish trip to China in late March. The president was furious when advisers informed him the couple’s vacation spending would top the $150 million mark, and he begged her to cancel the trip.
Still seething over his philandering, Michelle ignored Barack’s pleas.
All the fighting has left the Obama marriage hanging by a thread. Sources have told us that Michelle is already said to be huddling with divorce attorneys. What’s more, she’s told close pals that she’s found a new home in Washington, D.C., for herself and daughters Sasha, 12, and Malia, 15, for their post-White House days.
Obama’s advisers, sources say, warned him to get Michelle “under control” until the end of his presidency, explaining that if she walked out while he was still in office, the impact on his legacy would be catastrophic.
“It seems the first lady is getting the upper hand in any upcoming divorce war,” the Washington insider added. “Michelle seems to enjoy torturing him with the prospect of divorcing him as much as she likes torturing her staff.”