DailyMail.com: Michelle Obama’s claim that a 15-year-old girl was gunned down by an ‘automatic weapon some kid didn’t need’ was edited out of an interview by ABC, it has emerged.
The first lady made the comments while talking about Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot dead in a park just a block from the Obamas’ Chicago home a week after she performed at the inauguration.
Mrs. Obama discussed the tragedy in a taped interview with host Robin Roberts on Good Morning America – but the broadcasted account was shorter than the version quoted on ABC’s website.
On the full version online, Mrs. Obama said: ‘She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids…grew up, where our house is.
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Tragedy: Michelle Obama spoke about the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton on GMA on Tuesday
Silence: But ABC edited out the part when she said the girl was killed with a ‘semi automatic’ weapon
‘She had just taken a chemistry test. And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need. I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first.’
Yet the version that was broadcast on Tuesday morning cut some of the speech, including the line about the unnecessary automatic weapons.
The version said: ‘She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids grow – grew – up, where our house is.
‘And she was caught in the line of fire. I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first.’
Innocent: Fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was gunned down in a Chicago park earlier this month
Loss: She died just blocks from the Obama’s Chicago house just a week after performing at his inauguration
Speaking to Mediaite, ABC insisted that the changes ‘were made solely for time’.
The Washington Examiner also noted that Mrs Obama’s account differs from the police report, which stated that the young girl was killed with a handgun before her attacker fled in a waiting car.
Hadiya had travelled to Washington D.C. just days earlier to perform with her school’s band and dance team to celebrate the inauguration.
She was in the park after getting out of school early following a test and died after she was shot in the back.
The proximity of Hadiya’s death to the Obama home, his inauguration and his calls for tighter gun controls in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre made her the face of numerous other victims.
Support: Mrs Obama stands with Hadiya’s parents, Cleopatra and Nathanial Pendelton, ahead of Obama’s State of the Union Speech on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on February 12
Mrs Obama attended her funeral in Chicago the following week and invited the girls’ parents as her guests to the president’s State of Union address in Washington D.C.
The GMA interview also touched on more light-hearted topics, including how President Obama is struggling to cope with his two daughters, 14-year-old Malia and 11-year-old Sasha, growing up.
‘There’s nothing like the look on his face when Malia dresses up for a party, and she’s heading out,’ Mrs Obama said. ‘She walks past him, and you can see his face sort of just drop a little bit. It’s like, "Who was that?"’The first lady joked that the stress of his daughters is taking its toll on her husband physically.
‘He’s a little grey,’ she said. ‘People think the grey is from his job. It’s from his children.’
Looking good: Roberts looked healthy in the interview – five months after her bone marrow surgery
In the kitchen: The first lady joined Robin Roberts and chef Marcus Robert Samuelsson to cook a healthy meal
The interview, which was broadcast on Tuesday, was one of Robin Roberts’ first assignments since she returned to the show following bone marrow transplant surgery five months ago.
After her treatment left her bald, Roberts said that her stylist had picked out a wig for her that resembled the first lady’s new haircut – complete with bangs.
Roberts said that although it was given to her in December – before Mrs Obama’s haircut – she didn’t wear it as ‘everybody would have thought I was copying you by the time I came back’.
‘See, Robin had it first,’ Mrs Obama said as the women laughed. ‘Robin, I’m following you.’
Michelle Obama also used the interview to promote her Let’s Move! campaign, noting that the country is seeing ‘rates of obesity coming down like never before’.
Protective: Obama is pictured with his daughters Sasha, left, and Malia, right, in Washington D.C in 2012
She also said she was launching a new initiative called the ‘My Plate Recipe Partnership’, a website providing families with online recipes, which meet the healthy My Plate guidelines.
It was not the first time the first couple has spoken about their growing daughters, who were just seven and 10 when they first moved to the White House.
The president has himself spoken about the girls and their possible suitors. He has even joked it would take a brave soul to court one of his girls.
‘I think that any young man who has got the guts to get through Secret Service deserves a hearing!’ he said last November in an interview with Ryan Seacrest.
2/26/13 – First reported in the Washington Examiner, ABC News edited out first lady Michelle Obama’s erroneous claim that Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton was killed when she was shot with an "automatic weapon." (She was killed by a hand gun.) The first lady made this claim in a Tuesday morning appearance on Good Morning America and was quoted in full in ABC News’ online report. The claim was, however, edited out when the interview aired. ABC News responded to the charge on Tuesday saying the cuts were made "solely for time."
"She was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need," Michelle Obama said of the late Pendleton, who was shot and killed just days after performing at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. "I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first."
ABC News quoted Mrs. Obama in full for their report posted online:
Chicago police claim that Pendleton was killed when she was caught in crossfire. The suspect likely used a semi-automatic handgun.
GMA’s producers edited out Michelle Obama’s claims that Pendleton had "just taken a chemistry test" and that she was killed because "some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need.
Mediaite reached out to ABC News for comment. A spokesperson for ABC News replied saying that the cut was made solely due to broadcast time constraints:
The interview being broadcast. The edits made to Robin’s interview with the First Lady were made solely for time.