Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Thursday went where the candidate has refused to publicly go — saying Trump does believe President Barack Obama was born in the United States, even though the GOP nominee on Wednesday ducked the question.
Trump told the Washington Post in an interview Wednesday night that was published Thursday that “I’ll answer that question at the right time” and “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”
But Thursday night, Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said in a 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.”
Here’s the Trump campaign statement in full:
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. 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.
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. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.
Tim Murphy at Mother Jones took a look at the Trump campaign statement and says that “virtually every line of the statement is a lie.”
Hillary Clinton did not allege that the president was born in Kenya. Trump did not compel Obama to release his birth certificate “when others had not”—Obama had already released a copy of his birth certificate, but critics, including Trump, believed it to be a fake. So Obama released a longer birth certificate in 2011—but that release did not bring “closure” to the issue. Instead, Trump called it a forgery, citing “Israeli science,” and announced that he was sending a team of investigators to Hawaii to uncover the truth. He suggested that a Hawaiian health official who knew of the cover-up had died in suspicious circumstances.
And no, Mr. Trump does not believe that President Obama was born in the United States.
He’s got himself in the corner now because he’s going to be asked about it again and again, and he’s not going to give in. First, he never gives in on anything. Second, even if he did, he’d be blowing it with a large number of his base — aka The Deplorables — who firmly believe that Barack Obama is an alien, a usurper, the Anti-Christ, and the guy who keeps calling and telling them he’s from the IRS.
The only way to get out from under this would be to release his taxes.