No, Hillary Clinton Didn't Start the Birther Movement

Fact-checkers say Trump is wrong
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 12:03 PM CDT
Updated Sep 24, 2015 12:06 PM CDT
Hillary Clinton talks with audience members following a community forum in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(Newser) – In defending himself after his recent birther controversy, Donald Trump raised eyebrows with this assertion about President Obama's citizenship: "Just remember, the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton in 2008. She was all in!" Clinton called the allegation "ludicrous," prompting the fact-checkers at PolitiFact to do a deep dive on Trump's statement. Bottom line: "We rate this claim False." It is true that some supporters of Clinton raised the claim during the last presidential election, but never Clinton or anyone in her campaign—"an important distinction," says the blog post. Trump, it adds, has done nothing but "completely distort" that reality.

The piece says that no journalist has ever found a direct tie between camp Clinton and the birther allegations, and one of them familiar with the issue, David Weigel at the Washington Post, weighs in with his own analysis. Trump's assertion, which is gaining traction among conservatives, is utterly bogus, he writes. "I know, because I spent/wasted quite a lot of time covering this stuff." He does an even deeper dive and explains that "the first people who grew obsessed with Obama's birth certificate were, indeed, Clinton superfans who wanted Obama off the ballot." But again the big distinction: "Clinton's campaign, for all of its Obama panic, did not indulge them." Click for the full PolitiFact post, or for Weigel's full post. (Read more birthers stories.)

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