Today, Donald Trump held a press conference in which he admitted that he believes President Barack Obama was born in the United States. This directly contradicts everything he has said in the past. Hillary for America responded to this with three releases:
HFA Statement on Donald Trump’s Press Conference
After Donald Trump’s press conference today, Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook released the following statement:
“Trump’s actions today were disgraceful. After five years of pushing a racist conspiracy theory into the mainstream, it was appalling to watch Trump appoint himself the judge of whether the President of the United States is American. This sickening display shows more than ever why Donald Trump is totally unfit be president.”
FACT CHECK: Trump’s Lies About Hillary Clinton Starting Birther Movement
CNN: “There’s No Proof Clinton Had Anything To Do With The Claims That Obama Wasn’t Born In The United States And Thus Was Ineligible To Be President.” “As part of a partnership with FactCheck.org, CNN examines the lack of evidence to Donald Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton started the ‘birther’ movement against Barack Obama in 2008. As FactCheck.org reported before, there’s no proof Clinton had anything to do with the claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States and thus was ineligible to be president.” [CNN, 5/6/16]
Factcheck.Org: “There’s No Evidence That Clinton Or Her Campaign Had Anything To Do With Bogus Claims That Obama Wasn’t Born In The United States And Thus Was Ineligible To Be President.” “Donald Trump again has repeated the false claim that Hillary Clinton ‘started’ the so-called ‘birther’ movement against Barack Obama in 2008. As we wrote last year, there’s no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with bogus claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States and thus was ineligible to be president.” [Factcheck.org, 5/5/16]
Politifact Found “There Is No Record That Clinton Or Anyone Within Her Campaign Ever Advanced The Charge That Obama Was Not Born In The United States.” “There is no record that Clinton herself or anyone within her campaign ever advanced the charge that Obama was not born in the United States. A review by our fellow fact-checkers at Factcheck.org reported that no journalist who investigated this ever found a connection to anyone in the Clinton organization.” [Politifact,9/23/15]
Politifact Rated Trump’s Statement That Clinton Started The Birther Movement As False. “Trump said that Clinton started the birther movement and ‘was all in.’ It’s an interesting bit of history that the birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats supporting Clinton and opposing Obama. But Trump, and others who have made this claim, neglect to mention that there is no direct tie to Clinton or her 2008 campaign. The story appears to have started with supporters of Clinton, an important distinction. Trump goes on to completely distort the chain of events by claiming Clinton ‘was all in’ on the birther movement. Most of the talk started after Clinton suspended her presidential campaign. And the only thing she officially has ever done is deny any accusation of starting a whisper campaign. We rate this claim False.” [Politifact, 9/23/15]
HEADLINE: “Republicans Are Blaming Hillary Clinton For The ‘Birther’ Movement. That’s Wishful Thinking.”[Washington Post, 9/23/15]
David Weigel Said That The Rumor That Clinton Started The Birther Movement In 2008 Is “Not True.”CHRIS HAYES: “Okay. The Ted Cruz claim, the Trump claim, Hillary’s the original birther, she started it, that’s not true, is it? DAVID WEIGEL: “It’s not true, although it has taken up a lot of coinage on the right recently.” [All In, MSNBC, 9/23/15]
Washington Post: “The Allegation Clinton Or Even Her Campaign Started This Just Isn’t Founded.” “Trump isn’t only going to (maybe) renounce birtherism, you see; he’s going to open up a whole new can of worms around the issue by trying to tie it to Clinton. He’s going to breathe all kinds of life into the story by not truly taking responsibility for his lengthy effort to question the legitimacy of the president of the United States, and he’s going to do it with a specious charge. The allegation Clinton or even her campaign started this just isn’t founded.” [Washington Post, 9/16/16]
Washington Post: “There Is Nothing She Ever Said Along Those Lines.” “What’s more, Trump suggested Friday morning that he’s not just going to tie Clinton’s campaign to this, but Clinton herself, which is even more clearly counter to the facts. There’s no proof that either of them is true, mind you, but all of Clinton’s comments are recorded history, and there is nothing she ever said along those lines.” [Washington Post, 9/16/16]
Vox: “There’s No Evidence That Hillary Clinton Or Her 2008 Campaign Had Anything To Do With The Birther Theory — None.” “There’s no evidence that Hillary Clinton or her 2008 campaign had anything to do with the birther theory — none. Nonpartisan fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked this claim, as you can see at Politifact, Factcheck, CNN, and the Washington Post.” [Vox, 9/16/16]
NBC News: “It Isn’t True To Say Hillary Clinton Or Her ’08 Campaign Started The Birther Movement.” “It isn’t true to say Hillary Clinton or her ’08 campaign started the Birther movement: The other part of the Trump campaign statement from last night — in fact, it was its beginning — was pinning the Birther story on Hillary Clinton. “Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook.” But that is untrue.” [NBC News, 9/16/16]
NBC News: “Clinton Or Her Campaign NEVER Said/Suggested/Insinuated That Obama Wasn’t Born In The United States.” “While SUPPORTERS of Clinton stirred this conspiracy on the Internet, Clinton or her campaign NEVER said/suggested/insinuated that Obama wasn’t born in the United States. As the Washington Post wrote last year, “Clinton’s campaign, one of the most thoroughly dissected in modern history, never raised questions about the future president’s citizenship.” [NBC News, 9/16/16]
Hillary Clinton On Birtherism: “We Know Who Donald Is… There Is No Erasing It In History”
Today during her remarks at The Black Women’s Agenda in Washington, D.C., Hillary Clinton addressed Donald Trump’s long history of birtherism:
“We’re coming together at a pivotal moment for our country. I do believe that every election is important. But this one feels different, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. The next 53 days will shape the next 50 years. The future of our children and grandchildren hangs in the balance.
On one hand we have Donald Trump. And in recent weeks, he’s tried to restrain himself and clean-up his image. But as Maya Angelou once said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
And we know who Donald is. For 5 years, he has led the birther movement to de-legitimize our first black president. His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. There is no erasing it in history.
Just yesterday, Trump, again refused to say with his own words that the president was born in the United States. Now Donald’s advisors had the temerity to say he’s doing the country a “service” by pushing these lies. No, he isn’t. He is feeding into the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country. Barack Obama was born in America, plain and simple. And Donald Trump owes him and the American people an apology.
So, my friends: There is no “new” Donald Trump. There never will be.
Donald Trump looks at Barack Obama after eight years and still doesn’t see him as an American.
Think about how dangerous this is. Imagine a person in the Oval Office who traffics in conspiracy theories and refuses to let them go – no matter what the facts are. Imagine someone who distorts the truth to fit a very narrow view of the world. Imagine a president who sees someone who doesn’t look like him, and doesn’t agree with him, and thinks that person must not be a “real” American.
Donald Trump is unfit to be President of the United States. We cannot become insensitive to what he says and what he stirs up. We just can’t accept this. We’ve got to stand up to it. If we don’t, it won’t stop.”
Here is a sampling of the times, following the release of the birth certificate, when Donald Trump still called President Obama’s nationality into question.
April 27, 2011: President Obama Releases His Long-form Birth Certificate
April 27, 2011: Trump Calls Legitimacy Into Question
QUESTION: “What are your qualifications to assess this? You say, you have to look at it and you have to decide. What gives you the authority the–”
TRUMP: “Well, I’m going to look at it and many other people are going to look at it. You are going to have many people looking at it. And, obviously, they are going to have to make a decision, because it is rather amazing that, all of the sudden, it materializes.” [Press Conference, Portsmouth NH, 4/27/11]
October 27, 2011: Trump: “No, I Don’t Necessarily” Think President Obama’s Birth Certificate Is Valid.
PIERS MORGAN: “Do you accept that what he produced is valid?”
TRUMP: “No, I don’t necessarily.”
MORGAN: “But you believe he probably was born in America?”
TRUMP: “Well, I say he might have been”
MORGAN: But what does your gut tell you? Because you are a smart guy.”
TRUMP: “My gut tells me a couple of things. Number one, you know, it took a long time to produce the certificate and when it came out as you know, you check out the Internet, many people say it is not real. OK? That it’s a forgery. That’s what they say. I don’t know if it was.”
MORGAN: “That’s why the internet is a lot of nonsense, isn’t it?”
TRUMP: “You know what? OK, fine. But you know, they go over it and lots of different things and lots of different reasons. And the other thing is nobody has been able to see, you know, the day of his birth, they had twins born. They had — the other one born. Nobody has been able to find any records that he was born in that hospital.” [Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN, 10/27/11]
August 6, 2012: Trump Tweets Birth Certificate Is A Fraud
“An ‘Extremely Credible Source’ Has Called My Office And Told Me That @BarackObama’s Birth Certificate Is A Fraud.” [@realDonaldTrump, Twitter, 8/6/12]
October 26, 2012: Trump Continued To Say That He Had “No Idea” Where President Obama Was Born.
O’REILLY: “Where do you think he was born?”
TRUMP: “I have no idea. I really have no idea. I really have no idea.” [The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 10/26/12]
August 11, 2013: Trump Again Continued To Say He Had “No Idea” Whether President Obama Was Born In The U.S.
KARL: “But you don’t still question he was born in the United States, do you?”
TRUMP: “I have no idea… Well, I don’t know, was there a birth certificate? You tell me. You know some people say that was not his birth certificate. I’m saying, I don’t know. Nobody does.” [This Week, ABC, 8/11/13]
May 20, 2014: Trump: “A Lot Of People Don’t Agree With You. A Lot Of People Feel It Wasn’t A Proper Certificate.”
FITZPATRICK: “You questioned his citizenship during his campaign. You’ve said afterwards if he produced that long form birth cert, you’d produce your tax returns, but you didn’t do it, did you?”
TRUMP: “I don’t know. Did he do it? If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns. Absolutely. I would love to do that. I did produce actually a financial statement even though I wasn’t even running, I did produce a financial statement and it was shocking to some because it was so much higher than people thought even possible. It was a great statement and it was my honor to do it. No, the president should come clean. He should have come clean over the years. If you remember the very famous story where I offered him $5 million if he showed some basic records and he never took me up on it and that would be for charity. Charities would have benefited and it would have been a great think.”
FITZPATRICK: “He is a citizen. He produced that long form birth certificate…”
TRUMP: “A lot of people don’t agree with you. A lot of people feel it wasn’t a proper certificate.” [TV3 News, TV3 Ireland, 5/20/14]
July 9, 2015: Trump Said He Still Did Not Know If President Obama Was Born In America.
The Hill: “Donald Trump says he’s still not convinced President Obama was born in America, but that he’s not interested in rehashing the issue. ‘I don’t know. I really don’t know,’ the 2016 Republican presidential candidate told CNN when asked on Thursday. ‘I don’t know why he wouldn’t release his records.’” [The Hill, 7/9/15]
January 6, 2016: Trump On Whether President Obama Was A Natural-Born Citizen: “Who Knows? Who Knows?… I Have My Own Theory On Obama. Someday I’ll Write Another Book.”
BLITZER: “Because you know your critics are saying you’re doing to Ted Cruz what you tried to do to President Obama, where he was born, his birth certificate.”
TRUMP: “Who knows about Obama?”
BLITZER: “His mother was a U.S. citizen-born in Kansas. Was he a natural-born citizen?”
TRUMP: “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.” [Situation Room, CNN, 1/6/16]