Update: Donald Trump finally admitted on Friday that President Obama was born in the United States, according to BuzzFeed.
His statement proves to us that he's been lying all along. The presidential candidate has been pushing birther conspiracy theories against Obama for several years, even despite his place of birth being shown on his birth certificate.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer earlier this year, Trump was asked if he believes Obama is a citizen and he replied, "Who knows. Who knows? Who cares right now? We're talking about something else, OK, I mean, I have my own theory on Obama. Someday I'll write a book. I'll do another book and it will do very successfully."
In Trump's statement on Friday, he initially blamed his opponent, Hillary Clinton, for the birther movement, then later admitted Obama was a U.S. citizen.
"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period," Trump said.
A day after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to say President Barack Obama was born in the United States during an interview with The Washington Post, the Trump campaign released a statement in attempt to clarify that Trump is no longer a birther.
However, Trump himself has yet to claim so.
“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” the White House hopeful told the Post. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”
To quell the backlash, Trump’s communications adviser, Jason Miller, asserted that the candidate indeed believes Obama was born in Hawaii.
“In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate,” read the statement. “Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”
The campaign also blamed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for first raising the issue.
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for president,” it continued. “This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton’s henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.”
Plain and simple, Donald Trump and his campaign lackeys are outright liars.
For starters, the former secretary of state was not the first to bang the birther drum nor did the boisterous billionaire force Obama to release his birth certificate — unlike what he wants others to believe.
President Obama’s successor cannot and will not be the man who led the racist birther movement. Period.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2016
Note that contrary to Trump campaign’s claims, these tweets were made after 2011.
However, that still was not enough to satisfy Trump, who not only called it a forgery, again, but also announced he was sending a team of investigators to Hawaii to uncover the truth. He then claimed a Hawaiian health official, who knew of the coverup, had died suspiciously.
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2013
Twitter users also had a lot to say about this:
Trump remains a birther.— Forrest Wilder (@Forrest4Trees) September 16, 2016
What else is there to say?
Statement from the Trump Campaign: pic.twitter.com/yidN2quXqG— Bearded Stoner (@beardedstoner) September 16, 2016
A prominent birther told me once that Trump's source was the computer guy who designed his golf courses. No joke. pic.twitter.com/qUwUXU1TAw— Justin Duckham (@Jduckham) September 16, 2016
Trump wants to be both a racist birther and appeal for black votes. Makes him very schizophrenic. https://t.co/Hi0FaDkuzI— Ted Perlmutter (@tedperl) September 16, 2016
Since Trump, in the past, has asserted that the final word on anything only comes from him, the campaign statement is more or less useless unless the candidate clarifies his position himself.
Don't believe the biased and phony media quoting people who work for my campaign. The only quote that matters is a quote from me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2016
The issue is not just that Donald Trump is a liar. It's that he's allowed to peddle his lies with very little pushback. It's time for every person who interviews Trump to pointedly refute and demand accountability for every lie and baseless accusation that comes out of his mouth — and that includes everyone from seasoned journalists to Jimmy Fallon, who instead chose to rumple Trump's hair.
As it stands, there is little accountability from the media, and Trump can continue his campaign of fabrications and conspiracy theories his fans lap up so eagerly.