Donald Trump is at it again — he’s spewing racist rhetoric and doubling down on long debunked Clinton conspiracy theories. Trump has already tried sham attack, and numerous fact checkers have labeled it false. See more below —
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s big announcement Friday will attempt to convince voters that Democratic rival Hillary Clinton deserved blame for questions about President Barack Obama’s birth, Trump advisers said.
“You watch my statement,” Trump said in a phone interview on Fox Business, suggesting it would take place at a 10 a.m. campaign event he has scheduled in Washington at his namesake hotel. “We have to keep the suspense going.”
“I think you’ll be happy,” he told host Maria Bartiromo.
Trump’s years-long unwillingness to publicly recognize Obama’s citizenship flared up again Thursday when he told the Washington Post he didn’t want to answer whether he believed Obama was born in Hawaii. He has gained in polls on the Democratic nominee and now seeks to pull ahead after a rocky stretch for her campaign.
Trump’s campaign then issued a statement saying Trump did believe in Obama’s U.S. birth.
“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 spokesman Jason Miller said in the statement.
The statement also said that “Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President.”
In recent days, Trump campaign staffers have been studying a 2008 Atlantic magazine article (whose author is now a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter) that revealed, based on leaked e-mails and strategy memos, how Clinton’s 2008 campaign systematically attacked Obama, at the time her rival for the Democratic nomination.
The article included a leaked memo by Clinton’s chief strategist, Mark Penn, proposing that she attack Obama for his “lack of American roots.” In the memo, Penn wrote of Obama: “his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.”
A Trump campaign official confirmed that the attack on Clinton in Thursday’s statement was an allusion to the 2008 article and the Penn memo.
Reached for comment on Friday, Penn said, “I never had anything to do with starting the discussion of Obama’s birth certificate, ever. To the contrary, it’s completely false.”
The nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact has rated the accusation that Clinton started the so-called birther movement “false,” saying “the birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats supporting Clinton and opposing Obama” but “there is no direct tie to Clinton or her 2008 campaign.”
“Most of the talk started after Clinton suspended her presidential campaign,” PolitiFact said.
After the fierce primary fight, Obama and Clinton worked closely together after he nominated her as secretary of state. She stepped down after four years, and the president has campaigned vigorously for her in 2016.
On Friday, Clinton said that there was no way for Trump to move past his leadership of the birther movement.
“There is no erasing it in history,” she said. “Donald Trump looks at Barack Obama after eight years as president and he still doesn’t see him as an American.”
Resolving Birther Issue
Polls show Trump has little support from African-American voters, and as recently as Tuesday, his campaign was considering other ways to address his questioning of the first black president’s eligibility.
One plan involved Trump apologizing to a group of black ministers next week for his campaign against Obama, said two Trump advisers who asked not to be named. But Thursday evening’s events appear to have convinced the campaign to move more quickly to address concerns.
Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. on Friday said the spokesman’s statement should be taken as the nominee’s own view. “That is coming from him,” Trump Jr. said on “Good Morning America” prior to his father’s interview.
Trump has previously discounted statements made on his behalf, however.
“Don’t believe the biased and phony media quoting people who work for my campaign,” he tweeted in May. “The only quote that matters is a quote from me!”
Trump on Fox Business repeated his accusation that Clinton started the so-called birther issue in her 2008 presidential primary race against Obama, and said Clinton was “incapable” of finishing it.
Clinton on Thursday ripped Trump for telling the Post he didn’t want to answer where he believed Obama was born.
“He still wouldn’t say Hawaii. He still wouldn’t say America,” Clinton said at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute awards gala in Washington. “This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?”
Published: Sep 16, 2016