Trump Refuses to Say Obama Was Born in the US

His campaign blames Clinton for birtherism
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2016 5:10 AM CDT
Updated Sep 16, 2016 6:44 AM CDT

Donald Trump covered a lot of ground—including his wife's immigration status—during a Washington Post interview published Thursday, but the part that made headlines was his refusal to admit that the president of the United States is an American. "I'll answer that question at the right time," Trump said when asked if he believed President Obama was born in Hawaii. "I just don't want to answer it yet." He was asked if campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was right when she said he now believes Obama was born in the US, and he responded: "She's allowed to speak what she thinks." Trump's campaign later released a statement saying Trump believes Obama was born in the US—and accusing Hillary Clinton of being the first to raise doubts. A roundup of coverage:

  • "Having successfully obtained President Obama's birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States," Trump adviser Jason Miller said, per CNN, which notes that Trump has passed up several opportunities in recent weeks to publicly retract his "birther" beliefs of the past.

  • Despite the Trump campaign's claims, there's no evidence that Hillary Clinton was the original birther, or that her campaign had anything to do with rumors in 2008 that Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii, the BBC notes. The rumors may, however, have been circulated by Clinton supporters before being revived later that year by supporters of John McCain.
  • During the Post interview, Trump slammed upcoming debate moderator Anderson Cooper, denied having "embraced" Vladimir Putin, and said that although disgraced former Fox News chief Roger Ailes is a friend, he has no plans to form a media company with him. "I want to win the presidency, and I want to make America great again," Trump said. "It's very simple. I have no interest in a media company. False rumor."
  • Clinton targeted Trump's refusal to say Obama was born in the US in a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Thursday night, where she spoke after Obama, the AP reports. "He was asked one more time where was President Obama born and he still wouldn't say Hawaii. He still wouldn't say America," Clinton said. "This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?"
  • Another Washington Post story takes a close look at the Trump campaign statement—which accuses Clinton of "vicious and conniving" behavior—and at the many claims Trump has made over the years about Obama's birth certificate. In 2011, Obama zinged Trump about the issue at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
  • Politico spoke to its caucus of Republican insiders in 11 swing states and discovered that for the first time since he clinched the nomination, a majority of them believe he might actually win in November.
  • Trump appeared on the Tonight Show Thursday night, where Fallon asked for and received permission to ruffle his famous hair, which appeared to stay firmly attached to his head.
(More Donald Trump stories.)

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