Donald Trump, who led a 5-year-long ‘birther’ movement to prove President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and thus made him ineligible to be president, stepped back from his lie in a speech in Washington Sept. 16, 2016.
Friday morning, Trump had promised reporters that his appearance at the new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. would include “a major statement about President Barack Obama’s birth status,” but what he ulitmately delivered was a 10 second statement which brought an end to one of his longest running lies in exchange for a brand new one.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy,” Trump falsely stated (Politifact has rated this statemnt ‘False’). “I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”
“A book publisher came out three days ago and said that in his written synopsis of his book, he said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. His mother never spent a day in the hospital,” Trump said in 2012.
“His grandmother in Kenya said, ‘Oh no, he was born in Kenya and I was there and I witnessed the birth.’ Now, she’s on tape and I think that tape’s going to be produced fairly soon …The grandmother in Kenya is on record saying he was born in Kenya,” Trump said, falesly, in 2011.
In 2015, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he believed Obama was born in the United States, Trump responded, “I don’t know.”
“I really don’t know. I mean, I don’t know why he wouldn’t release his records. But you know, honestly, I don’t want to get in it,” Trump said.
“I don’t talk about that anymore,” Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in December 2015. He said “he didn’t want to answer the question.”
As recently as Sept. 15, 2016, Trump still would not acknowledge Obama’s birthplace, telling the Washington Post: “I’ll answer that question at the right time. I just don’t want to answer it yet.”
First lady Michelle Obama delivered a flawless response to Trump’s vicious campaign of lies against her husband.
When President Barack Obama was elected, “people had all kinds of questions about what kind of president Barack would be. Things like ‘Does he understand us?’ ‘Will he protect us?’” the first lady said during a rally at George Mason University. “There were those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years, up through this very day, whether my husband was even born in this country.”
“During his time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he’s set by going high when they go low,” she said. “And he’s answered these questions with the progress we’ve achieved together.”
President Obama took that high road on Friday when asked about Trump’s birther comments by White House reporters: “I was pretty confident about where I was born,” he said. “I think most people were as well. And my hope would be that the presidential election reflects more serious issues than that.”