GOP staffer resigns over criticism of Obama’s teenage daughters

The GOP staffer who ignited a firestorm of controversy after criticizing and “slut-shaming” Obama’s daughters is to resign today, NBC reports.

Elizabeth Lauten posted on Facebook that Sasha and Malia Obama were dressed for “a spot at a bar” during the turkey-pardoning ceremony on Thanksgiving, and should “try showing a little class.” 

In the now-deleted post, she called on the pair to “respect the part you play. Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much … so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

“Dress like you deserve respect,” Lauten added, “not a spot at a bar.”

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The communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Lauten subsequently apologized in another (and now also deleted) Facebook post, Talking Points Memo reported.

“I reacted to an article and quickly judged the two ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager,” she wrote. “After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly how hurtful my words were.”

Watch footage of the ceremony here:

The response to Lauten’s comments was highly critical. Daily Kos and Refinery29 called her comments akin to “slut-shaming” Obama’s teenage daughters over their appearances.

The staffer’s apology was “to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words,” but her “pledge to learn and grow” wasn’t enough to save her: NBC is reporting she is to resign later today.

H/T NBC | Screengrab via PBS NewsHour/YouTube

Rob Price

Rob Price

Rob Price is a technology and politics reporter who served as the U.K.-based morning editor for the Daily Dot until 2014. He now works as the news editor for Business Insider, and his work has appeared in Vice, Slate, the Washington Post, and the Independent.