Friday, September 16, 2016

Trump: 'President Barack Obama was born in the United States'

Trump: 'President Barack Obama was born in the United States' -

Trump finally admits it: 'President Barack Obama was born in the United States'

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump finally admitted Friday that "President Barack Obama was born in the United States," reversing himself on the issue that propelled him into national politics five years ago.
Trump sought to end his longstanding attempt to discredit the nation's first African-American president with just a few sentences tacked on at the end of an event to unveil his new hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.
    But the issue isn't likely to die down any time soon -- especially as Trump continues to falsely blame Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for starting the "birtherism" controversy. Clinton spoke earlier Friday and said Trump's acknowledgment of Obama's birthplace doesn't go far enough and that he must also apologize.
    "For five years, he has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president," Clinton said at an event in Washington. "His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie."
    Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.
    The President dismissed Trump's criticism Friday, joking with reporters at the White House and saying, "I was pretty confident about where I was born."
    The birtherism controversy exploded Thursday evening when Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post that he still wasn't prepared to acknowledge Obama's birthplace. Within a few hours, the campaign released a statement -- attributed to his spokesman -- that said Trump now believes Obama was born in the United States.
    Trump finally said the words out loud Friday morning.
    "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period," Trump said. "Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again."
    The developments over the past day were steeped in political motivations. With 53 days before the presidential election, Trump is moving into a margin of error race with Clinton and trying to broaden his appeal while maintaining his grip on the GOP base. Trump has made strenuous attempts to improve his dismal standing among minority voters and moderate Republicans in recent weeks, many of which see birtherism as racially motivated and an insult to Obama.
    He is also aiming to take the issue of Obama's birthplace and legitimacy off the table by the time of the crucial debate with Clinton on September 26.
    Trump has declined other opportunities in the past two weeks to refute his original birtherism.
    When local Philadelphia TV station WPVI asked Trump on September 2 about his past statements about Obama not being born in the US, Trump replied: "I don't talk about it anymore. I told you, I don't talk about it anymore."
    He repeated the same line when asked about it during a gaggle with reporters aboard his plane last week.
    And in an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly last week, Trump again said, "I don't bother talking about it."
    Trump's extraordinary attempt to prove Obama was not a natural born US citizen and was therefore not qualified to be President started on the conservative fringe but incredibly gathered pace and became a major issue. The White House initially tried to ignore the birtherism movement as the work of conspiracy theorists but Trump's huge media profile propelled the issue through conservative media and it eventually gathered traction.
    The saga only ended in a surreal and extraordinary moment in American politics when the sitting President went to the White House briefing room in April 2011 and produced his long-form birth certificate.Trump: 'President Barack Obama was born in the United States' -
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