Statue of Liberty climber invokes Michelle Obama: ‘I went as high as I could’

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The woman who scaled the Statue of Liberty this week to protest President Trump’s immigration policies invoked former first lady Michelle Obama in explaining her protest.

Fox News reported that the protester, Therese Patricia Okoumou, said outside a Manhattan courthouse Thursday that she was inspired by Obama’s quote “when they go low, we go high.”

“Our beloved first lady that I care so much about said that when they go low, we go high, and I went as high as I could,” Okoumou said.


Okoumou, an immigrant from Congo, pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with agency functions, according to Fox News.

She scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, the Fourth of July, after protesting the Trump administration’s immigration policies in front of the statue. Demonstrators unfurled a banner reading “ABOLISH ICE,” referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Okoumou was arrested after she climbed the statue’s base, a decision she called “spur of the moment.” Officials also evacuated Liberty Island, where the statue is housed.

If convicted, Okoumou could face up to six months in prison on each charge, Fox News reported.

President Trump slammed Okoumou as a “clown” during a campaign-style rally Thursday night in Montana.

“I wouldn’t have done it,” Trump said. “I would have said let’s get some nets, we’ll wait ’til she … just get some nets,” he said.

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