Sarah Palin said today she "appreciates" Donald Trump's repeated questioning of where President Obama was born, saying that though she believes he was born in Hawaii, "there is something there that the president doesn't want people to see on that birth certificate."
Palin's remarks on the "Judge Jeanine" show on Fox News came as the Hawaiian state health official that reviewed Obama's birth certificate denounced conspiracy theorists as "silly."
"It's kind of ludicrous at this point," Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the former director of Hawaii's Department of Health said in an interview with NBC, adding that "birthers," or those who have been questioning where the president was born, will never be satisfied.
"They're going to question the ink on which it was written or say it was fabricated," Fukino said. "The whole thing is silly."
Fukino said she has inspected Obama's "long form" birth certificate twice -- once in the run up to the 2008 presidential election and again in July of 2009. Both times Fukino made public statements indicating that she had inspected the certificate and that it was in fact accurate.
"It is real, and no amount of saying it is not, is going to change that," Fukino said.
She also said the highly questioned "certification of live birth" that was obtained by the Obama campaign in 2007 is the standard document that any citizen requesting their birth certificate from the state of Hawaii would receive.
"What he got, everybody got. He put out exactly what everybody gets when they ask for a birth certificate," Fukino said.
Trump, who is mulling a possible run for the presidency in 2012, challenged Obama's place of birth on the "Today" show last week and today on CNN's "State of the Union," despite the overwhelming evidence that he was born in the USA.
"I'm not saying it's a real possibility, but it's much greater than two or three weeks ago that he's pulled one of the greatest cons in the history of politics and beyond," Trump said Thursday in an interview on NBC.
Trump has talked about the issue in interviews during the past several weeks and on Friday reportedly met with an Arizona state lawmaker sponsoring a so-called "birther" bill.
"The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him," Trump said on "Good Morning America" on March 17.
Trump claims he is so concerned about where Obama was born that he has investigators in Hawaii looking into the question.
Palin threw her support behind Trump's questions, even if she said she doesn't think the end result will be showing that Obama was not born in the United States.
"I appreciate that The Donald wants to spend his resources on something that so interests him and so many Americans, you know more power to him," Palin, a paid contributor to Fox News, said this morning.
Previously Palin has said that questioning the president's place of birth and religious faith is a distraction from issues.
"It's distracting. It gets annoying. Let's stick with what really matters," Palin said at an appearance at the Long Island Association in February.
But today she suggested that Obama may have something to hide.
"I think that he was born in Hawaii, because there was the birth announcement put in the newspaper," Palin said.
"But obviously there is something there that the president doesn't want people to see on that birth certificate, that he sees going to great lengths to make sure it isn't shown. And that's perplexing for a lot of people," she added.
Several non-partisan watchdog groups long ago determined a certificate provided by then-candidate Obama, definitively proves he was born in Hawaii in August 1961.
There were birth announcements in local papers and statements from officials in Hawaii. While Trump's questioning of where Obama was born has many scratching their heads, some say there's a method to his madness as he decides whether to run for president.
Trump's Poll Numbers Increase
In the last three weeks, Trump's poll numbers have nearly doubled.
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll among Republican primary voters shows Trump behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and tied with ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
The website, ShouldTrumpRun.com,which has received more than 735,000 hits, and is hoping to convince Trump to run.
But while it may boost his visibility now, some analysts say it is bad long-term strategy.
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, said the birther issue trivializes Trump and damages his brand.
"Everybody knows Donald Trump is entertaining, but you cannot become president of the basis of being a good entertainer," said Fleischer. "You have to run for president on issues that make people say I can see that person being the president, he acts presidential and the birther movement will not be the cause that propels Donald Trump forward it actually will be the cause that holds him back."