Homeland Security Senior Adviser Was Right-Wing Radio Host Who Promoted Birtherism

A Department of Homeland Security senior adviser to the White House was formerly a conservative radio host who “promoted conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama’s birthplace, lamented the “Zimbabwe-fication of America,” and mocked the LGBT community,” according to a report by CNN’s KFILE.

Frank Wuco joined the White House in January after spending several years as a radio host in Florida, and his hardline views on Islam have been previously reported – as well as a jihadist character named Fuad Wasul he would often dress up as for videos warning of Islamic extremism.

CNN’s KFILE combed through dozens of hours of Wuco’s radio show, and found a trove of controversial comments from the man who now leads a team working to enforce President Donald Trump’s executive orders, including his controversial travel ban:

On the radio, Wuco said Obama knew nothing of the “black American experience,” defended the initial speculation in the media that Muslim extremists were responsible for the mass killing in Norway, and said that gay people had hijacked the word “gay” from happy people.

Wuco, a former naval intelligence officer, also happens to have something in common with Trump: he touted the birther conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, even referring to the former president’s birth certificate as “a questionable document.”

Acting DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton defended Wuco in a statement to CNN, saying “Mr. Wuco works every day to keep the American people safe by helping to implement the President’s security-focused agenda, including raising the global bar for vetting and screening of potential terrorists.

“Years-old comments cherry picked from thousands of hours on the air have no bearing on his ability to perform his job for the American people,” Houlton said.

[Mediaite]

Trump still privately questions Obama’s birth certificate

President Trump is still privately questioning the authenticity of former President Obama’s birth certificate, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

A senator, who asked not to be named, told The Times that Trump is having difficulty moving on from his past claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

Trump led the “birther” movement against Obama, claiming for years that the former president was born outside of the U.S.

Obama eventually released his birth certificate to counter Trump’s claims.

Trump said that Obama was born in the U.S. during a campaign stop last year.

Trump advisers reportedly told The Times that Trump has continued to talk about conspiracy theories that aren’t based in fact since taking office.

The newspaper first reported last week that Trump has been questioning the authenticity of the “Access Hollywood” tape that features audio of him bragging about groping and kissing women without their consent.

Trump acknowledged that it was him on the tape when it was first released last year and apologized for the comments.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to say if Trump thinks the tape is fake at a press briefing Monday.

“The president addressed this, this was litigated and certainly answered during the election by the overwhelming support for the president and the fact he’s sitting here in the Oval Office today,” Huckabee Sanders said Monday.

“He’s made his position on that clear at that time, as have the American people in support of him.”

[The Hill]

Trump Picks Right-Wing Conspiracy Blogger for a Federal Judgeship

Here’s a pro tip. If you are a judicial nominee, and you have to spend much of your confirmation hearing denying that you endorsed birtherism, maybe “judge” isn’t the ideal job for you.

And yet John Bush, a lawyer and conservative blogger who spent years publishing many of his most controversial opinions under a pseudonym, is in line to be a judge on a powerful federal appeals court. Given Bush’s prolific history as a political blogger, those opinions were on full display during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Birtherism came up after Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) noted a blog post where Bush relied heavily on World Net Daily, a conservative site famous for touting conspiracy theories such as the birther libel against President Obama. In the post — which bears the grammatically-dubious title “‘Brother’s Keeper’ — As In, Keep That Anti-Obama Reporter In Jail!”  — Bush touted a World Net Daily story claiming that one of the publication’s reporters was being held by immigration officials in Kenya after the reporter went there to investigate Obama’s Kenyan half-brother.

The post implied, without explicitly stating, that then-Sen. Barack Obama bore some responsibility for this reporter being detained. In any event, Bush felt that he needed to distance himself from the birther website he once cited, telling Franken that “I was certainly not intending to endorse any views of another group, as far as birtherism goes,” when he wrote this particular blog post.

Questionable citations aside, many of Bush’s other blog posts stated much more directly how the judicial nominee views the world. In one post in particular, for example, Bush claimed that “the two greatest tragedies in our country” are “slavery and abortion.”

After Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Bush if he still held this view, Bush attempted to paint his views on Roe v. Wade as relatively innocuous. “I believe that [Roe] is a tragedy,” he said, “in the sense that it divided our country.”

Later in the hearing, however, Bush revealed that he either does not believe that all divisive decisions are tragic, or that he has a very poor command of American history.

“Wouldn’t you characterize Brown v. Board of Education,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Bush, as “a case that divided our country?” In response, Bush first pled ignorance, then gave an historically-inaccurate answer.

“I wasn’t alive at the time of Brown,” Bush said. “But I don’t think it did.”

In reality, Brown is probably second only to Dred Scott v. Sandford, which played a major role in sparking the Civil War, among the Supreme Court’s most divisive decisions. Multiple books have been written on the Southern white backlash triggered by Brown — including two chapters of my own book, Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted.

Even before the decision was handed down, Justice Hugo Black, a former Alabama senator, told his colleagues that violence would inevitably follow a decision ending public school segregation, and he relayed former justice and then-South Carolina Gov. Jimmy Byrnes’ warning that the state might “abolish [its] public school system” before it abided by such a decision.

Southern lawmakers demanded “massive resistance” to Brown. Many signed a “Southern Manifesto” accusing the Court of stirring up “chaos and confusion in the states principally affected.” Massive resistance proved so successful that, ten years after Brown, only one in 85 Southern black students attended an integrated school.

In fairness, Bush’s ignorance of American civil rights history, while certainly not an optimal trait in a judge, might not prevent him from performing the core responsibilities of an appellate jurist. Typically, judges spend far more time parsing statutory language and consulting legal precedents than they do digging into political history.

But Bush is not like most people named to the federal bench. In a 2009 panel hosted by the conservative Federalist Society — an organization which has played a major role in selecting Trump’s judicial nominees — Bush aligned himself with originalism, the belief that the only valid way to interpret the Constitution is to apply its text in the way those words were originally understood at the time they were drafted.

Whatever the virtues or demerits of originalism as an interpretive method, it only works if the judges applying it have a deep command of history and the skills necessary to sort good historical arguments from bad ones. After all, how can someone figure out the original meaning of a text if they don’t understand the historical and political context that brought that text into being?

The fact that Bush knows so little about one of the most famous judicial decisions in American history does not suggest that he is up to this task.

Franken, Feinstein, and Durbin are, of course, Democrats. And Bush will be confirmed unless some of Trump’s fellow Republicans break with him on this nominee. At least one Republican senator did appear uncomfortable with Bush’s nomination, however, during the hearing.

“I’ve read your blogs,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) told Bush. “I’m not impressed.”

[ThinkProgress]

At Debate, Trump Says He “Did a Good Job” On Racist Birther Issue

Hillary Clinton sharply criticized Donald Trump for pushing a “racist birther lie” about President Obama during a heated exchange at Monday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University.

Moderator Lester Holt asked Trump to explain his yearslong campaign supporting the conspiracy theory questioning Obama’s citizenship and birthplace.

“I was the one that got him to produce the birth certificate, and I think I did a good job,” Trump said.

“We’re talking about racial healing in this segment,” Holt interjected. “What do you say to Americans, people of color, who…”

Trump cut him off. “I say nothing,” he said, again congratulating himself for getting Obama to release his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii in 2011.

Rather than answer the question, Trump set off on a fantastical diversion. He reiterated the lie that Clinton started the racist Birther conspiracy. Then he went further to claim that Clinton’s campaign manager in 2008 admitted it on CNN last week:

“[H]er campaign manager, Patty Doyle, went to — they were in the campaign, her campaign against President Obama, fought very hard – and you can go look it up and you can check it out – and if you look at CNN this past week, Patty Solis Doyle was on Wolf Blitzer saying that this happened.”

That didn’t happen, Trump is misrepresenting what was said in the Wolf Blitzer interview. Here is the video on CNN where Solis Doyle explained that a rogue staffer sent out an email promoting a birther conspiracy, and that person was promptly fired, which does not match at all what Trump described.

“There was a volunteer coordinator, I believe in late 2007, I think in December. One of our volunteer coordinators in one of the counties in Iowa, I don’t recall whether they were an actual a paid staffer, but they did forward an email that promoted the conspiracy.”

“The birther conspiracy?” Blitzer asked.
“Yeah. Hillary made the decision immediately to let that person go. We let that person go, and it was so, you know, beyond the pale, Wolf, and you know, so not worthy the kind of campaign that certainly Hillary wanted to run or that we as a staff wanted to run that I called David Plouffe, who was obviously managing Barack Obama’s campaign in ’07, to apologize and basically say this is not coming from us.”

Trump also brought up longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal pushing birtherism to McClatchy, thereby tying Hillary to the conspiracy theory. However there is no direct proof of this, and even as McClatchy concedes, is ultimately a case of he-said-she-said which can’t be considered as strong evidence.

Trump said that “Blumenthal sent McClatchy — a highly respected reporter at McClatchy — to Kenya to find out about it. They were pressing it very hard.”

According to James Asher, an editor in McClatchy’s Washington bureau in 2008, Blumenthal suggested the news organization look into Obama’s roots, and Asher said he asked a Nairobi-based reporter to look into the tip. McClatchy last week reported that there is no direct proof that Blumenthal shared the birther rumor, though Blumenthal did share other ideas about Obama with Asher. Asher has said he recalls the conversation clearly, but has no record of it.

Blumenthal told Fox News earlier this month “This is false. Never happened, period,” adding: “Donald Trump cannot distract from the inescapable fact that he is the one who embraced and promoted the racist birther lie and bears the responsibility for it.”

(h/t Yahoo, DailyKos, McClatchy)

Media

Christie Falsely Claims Trump Hadn’t Talked ‘Birther’ for Years

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday Donald Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace was “done,” arguing falsely that Trump hasn’t talked about it for years and had put to rest any remaining questions Friday.

“The birther issue is a done issue. I’ve said it’s a done issue for a long time, and Donald Trump has said it’s a done issue now,” Christie, a top Trump supporter and the chairman of his transition team, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Though Trump had been asked whether he now believes Obama was born in the United States as recently as 2016 and hadn’t affirmed that position, Christie refuted Tapper’s questioning saying: “It’s just not true that he kept it up for five years.”

Tapper: “Sure he did.”

Christie: “It’s simply not true.”

Tapper: “It is true.”

Christie: “No, Jake. It wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis … And when the issue was raised, he made very clear the other day what his position is.”

But of course, Trump for years elevated false claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, raising it repeatedly in interviews and on Twitter. In 2011, Obama released a copy of his birth certificate to put to rest what many considered fringe conspiracy theories aimed at undermining his legitimacy as president.

Trump had been asked whether he now believes Obama was born in the United States as recently as last week and hadn’t affirmed that position, until Friday.

Christie also said it was “an issue that Mrs. Clinton also injected” into the 2008 Democratic primary against Obama, which is false.

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, stuck to a similar line in an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”

“This is not what the American people are talking about. Donald Trump put this issue to an end yesterday in Washington, D.C.,” Pence said.

He also declared birtherism “over” and denied Trump has any responsibility it. “Throughout this campaign, he hasn’t been talking about it,” Pence said.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, blamed Trump for “an incredibly painful five-year chapter.”

“When Donald Trump says the first African-American president is not a citizen, that is so painful to so many people who still have deep feelings about that dark chapter in American life,” Kaine told Tapper later on “State of the Union.”

“And he either believed what he said for five years, which showed that he’s either incredibly gullible or conspiratorial, or he didn’t believe it, in which case he was just trying to prey upon people’s darkest emotion,” he said.

And Kaine deflected questions about whether Hillary Clinton’s friend Sidney Blumenthal pushed birtherism quietly on the 2008 campaign trail.

“Sidney Blumenthal has categorically denied that, but Sidney’s not running for president. Let’s talk about Donald Trump,” Kaine said.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway deflected questions about Trump’s history of birtherism Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Host John Dickerson asked: “Donald Trump advocated something for five years that was a lie. Why did he do that?”

Conway said: “Well, you’re going to have to ask him. But, again, I think that this is a sideshow now that the media seem obsessed with, John, respectfully. And, again, he put everything out on the table on Friday. Those are his words. He does things on his terms, on his time line.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

The Wall Street Journal, of all places, compiled a list of every birther statement by Donald Trump proving that he did indeed keep up the false birther conspiracy theory for five years, even after President Obama released his long form birth certificate. However they missed a few so we added some to their list.

February 2011: In a speech at a conservative conference, Mr. Trump said: “Our current president came out of nowhere. Came out of nowhere. In fact, I’ll go a step further: the people that went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is. It’s crazy.” [Politifact]

March 2011: Mr. Trump went on “The View” when he was first considering a run for the presidency and was asked if he believed Mr. Obama was born in the U.S. He responded: “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? And you know what? I wish he would… Nobody from those early years remembers him… There’s something on that birth certificate he doesn’t like.” [Mediaite]

April 7, 2011: Mr. Trump said: “Right now, I have some real doubts…His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth. He doesn’t have a birth certificate or he hasn’t shown it.” [“Today”]

April 19, 2011: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate or he hasn’t provided it. He’s given a certificate of live birth. It’s a much different instrument.”  Mr. Trump also said he sent investigators to Hawaii, though he gave no evidence of that.  [“ABC News”]

April 27, 2011: The White House publishes the long form of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.

May 1, 2011: Mr. Obama opened the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with a “birth video” — taken from the start of the Disney movie”The Lion King.” He quickly turned to jokes at Mr. Trump’s expense. “Donald Trump is here tonight!  Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald.  And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing?  What really happened in Roswell?  And where are Biggie and Tupac?” [Transcript]

May 29, 2012: Mr. Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “a lot of people don’t agree with that birth certificate. A lot of people do not think it’s authentic.” [Video/Transcript, CNN’s “The Situation Room”]

July 10, 2012: 

Aug. 22, 2012:

Aug. 29, 2012:

Oct. 11, 2012:

Oct. 24, 2012: Mr. Trump offered to pay $5 million to Mr. Obama’s charity of choice if the president releases his college and passport records. [YouTube video]

Oct. 31, 2012:

August 2013: Mr. Trump is asked about his “birther” comments. “I think that resonated with a lot of people.” Did he still question if Mr. Obama was born in the U.S.? “I have no idea. I don’t know. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. … Nobody knows.” [ABC’s “This Week”]

Dec. 12, 2013: 

Feb. 27, 2015: At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Trump questioned whether Mr. Obama’s long-form birth certificate that’s posted on the White House’s website is real. He also said Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain also wanted to see his birth certificate but the White House only posted one in response to Mr. Trump. [Video (24:37)]

July 2015: When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if he accepts that Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., Mr. Trump said, “I really don’t know. I don’t know why he wouldn’t release his records, but you know, honestly, I don’t want to get into it.”[CNN]

September 2015: On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Mr. Colbert asked Mr. Trump, “Barack Obama, born in the United States?” Mr. Trump said: “I don’t talk about it any more.” [Video, “The Late Show”]

Sept. 17, 2015: At a town-hall event, Mr. Trump didn’t denounce a comment from an attendee who said Mr. Obama isn’t an American. The man said,”We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.” Mr. Trump interrupted, saying, “We need this question.” [Video (16:40)]

Jan. 26, 2016: In an interview, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer discusses whether Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, is a natural-born citizen. Mr. Blitzer  said: “Your critics are saying you’re doing to Ted Cruz what you tried to do to President Obama, where he was born, his birth certificate…” Mr. Trump said: “Who knows about Obama, who cares right now.”  [Video, CNN’s “The Situation Room”]

Sept. 15, 2016: In an interview published by the Washington Post, Mr. Trump declined to say whether he believed the president was born in Hawaii. “I’ll answer that question at the right time,” he said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.” Later in the day, the Trump campaign put out a statement, referring back to 2011: “Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”  [WSJ]

Sept. 16, 2016:  Mr. Trump briefly addresses the issue at an event at his new hotel in Washington. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.” In his remarks, he also falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for the birther controversy. [WSJ]

 

 

 

Trump Drops ‘Birther’ Theory, but Floats a New False One: Clinton Started It

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 as he unveiled 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 said earlier Friday that 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.

Trump offered no apologies for his leading role in the birther movement and didn’t explain what drove him to change his mind. 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.”

Speaking at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the controversy head on.

“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,” she said. “Well, during his time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they low.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, called Trump a “disgusting fraud.”

Birtherism controversy

The birtherism controversy exploded the previous night 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, ignoring reporters’ questions despite earlier indications he would hold a press conference. “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 tried to improve his dismal standing among minority voters and moderate Republicans in recent weeks, many of whom 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 September 26.

Trump has declined other opportunities during the past two weeks to refute his original birtherism.

When local Philadelphia TV station WPVI asked Trump on September 2 about his past statements, 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 gathered momentum 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 gained 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.

‘Sideshows and carnival barkers’

“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” Obama said at the time, in a clear reference to Trump.

In his statement Thursday night, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said, “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.”

He was referring to a controversy from the 2008 Democratic primary fight between Obama and Clinton. In a March 2008 interview with “60 Minutes,” Clinton said she took then-Sen. Obama’s word that he was not a Muslim, but when pressed if she believed he was, she replied, “No. No, there is nothing to base that on — as far as I know.”

Clinton, however, was not questioning Obama’s birthplace.

Clinton slammed Trump’s comments to the Post while speaking at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute event in Washington Thursday, saying he needs to stop his “ugliness” and “bigotry.”

“He was asked one more time: Where was President Obama born? And he still wouldn’t say Hawaii. He still wouldn’t say America. This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?” she said. “This is the best he can do. This is who he is. And so we need to decide who we are.”

Clinton’s campaign later tweeted, “President Obama’s successor cannot and will not be the man who led the racist birther movement. Period.”

The ‘birther’ controversy

Trump’s embrace of the birther controversy seemed outlandish when it began. In retrospect, it looks like a template for the fact-challenged approach he has adopted in his presidential campaign.

After Obama’s news conference, the real-estate developer claimed credit for getting the President to produce evidence of his birthplace.

“Today I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else was able to accomplish,” Trump said in New Hampshire, after Obama’s news conference.

In subsequent years, Obama poked fun at the birtherism controversy and used it to ridicule Trump, most memorably in a savage takedown at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in 2011.

“Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald,” Obama said.

“And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters who were not associated with her campaign, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump previously claimed, is pure fiction.

Trump Defiant, Won’t Say Obama Was Born in United States

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview in Canton, Ohio that he remains unwilling to say that President Obama is born in the United States, that he is more bullish than ever on his chances to win and that he is not exploring the launch of a new media company in case he loses the race.

Trump also made a far-from-subtle push — in the interview and in a letter from his doctor released Thursday — to be seen as vigorous and healthy as his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, returned to the campaign trail after being treated for mild pneumonia.

In the interview, conducted late Wednesday aboard his private plane as it idled on the tarmac here, Trump suggested he is not eager to change his pitch or his positions even as he works to reach out to minority voters, many of whom are deeply offended by his long-refuted suggestion that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.

“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

When asked whether his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was accurate when she said recently that he now believes Obama was born in this country, Trump responded: “It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things.”

He added: “I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”

In the interview, Trump defended his wife’s immigration history; attacked targets including CNN host Anderson Cooper and Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.); and said he had been “respectful” since Clinton fell ill but “that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stay there.”

Sitting in his plush, cream-and-gold cabin as his top aides looked on, Trump began by repeatedly recounting his poll numbers, which have ticked up nationally and in some key states.

Trump said a possible turning point in the race came last week when Clinton said that “half” of his supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables” — a remark she has since said she regrets.

“It’s the single biggest mistake in this political cycle, a massive comment, bigger than 47 percent,” Trump said, a reference to Mitt Romney’s controversial 2012 statement at a fundraiser about voters who receive government benefits or pay little in taxes. “When I first heard it, I couldn’t believe that she said it.”

Clinton and her campaign argue that some Trump backers are racist and misogynistic and have sought to link him to the “alt-right” movement of self-avowed white nationalists, many of whom have rallied around his candidacy.

Trump was a leading and vocal proponent of the debunked conspiracy theory that the nation’s first black president was born overseas and thus not eligible for the White House. Obama released his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate in 2011, but Trump has never disavowed his earlier claims.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump claimed, is pure fiction.

Donald Trump Refuses to Talk About His Role in the Racist Birther Movement

Years after the issue was debunked, Donald Trump still refuses to back away from the birther conspiracy he helped fuel.

“I don’t talk about it,” Trump told NBC’s Ali Vitali on Monday.

Trump made similar comments to “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert last year.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

And second, Donald Trump rose to political fame with the questioning of the legitimacy of America’s first black President, with a clear origin in racial prejudice.

In March 2011 when Trump appeared on “The View” and asked the panel, “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” While on Fox News’s “On the Record,” Trump demanded, “I want to see his birth certificate.” In an interview with NBC’s “Today Show,” he revealed, “I’m starting to think that he was not born here.”

And in the most irony of ironies, Trump has refused to release his own birth certificate and passport information.

2011 Birther Study on Racism

A 2011 study of birthers in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showed racial prejudice played a substantial role in those who believed the claims that Obama wasn’t an American.

“The influence of racial prejudice in contemporary U.S. society is typically manifested in subtle, indirect forms of bias. Due to prevailing norms of equality, most Whites attempt to avoid appearing biased in their evaluations of Blacks, in part because of a genuine desire to live up to their egalitarian standards, but also because of concern regarding social censure. As a consequence, Whites’ prejudice is more likely to be expressed in discriminatory responses when these actions can be justified by other factors.”

Paid CNN Commentator Corey Lewandowski Reignites Obama “Birther” Conspiracies

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski revived long-debunked “birther” conspiracy theories about President Obama, suggesting he didn’t release his Harvard transcript as a candidate because it may have shown he was not born in the US.

The conversation on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon Tuesday began with commentator Angela Rye noting that Trump has been attacking Obama since before the election season. She added that the Republican presidential candidate demanded Obama release his birth certificate and college transcripts to prove he was an American citizen.

“Did he ever release his transcripts from Harvard?” Lewandowski, also a CNN commentator, responded.

“By the way, tell me about those tax returns, Corey,” Rye quipped back.

Following rumors that Obama was not born in the United States, the White house released the president’s long-form birth certificate in 2011, showing he was indeed born in Hawaii.

Lewandowski pressed Rye further, repeating his question again.

“You raised the issue. I’m just asking,” Lewandowski said. “You raised the issue. Did he, did he ever release his transcripts or his admission to Harvard University? You raised the issue, so just yes or no? The answer is no.”

“At this moment I’m going to Beyoncé you,” Rye said. “Boy bye.”

At that point, Lemon interrupted, asking about the importance of Obama’s Harvard transcript.

“Look, the only reason it’s germane is because she brought the issue up, and said Donald Trump raised the issue of his Harvard transcripts,” Lewandowski said. “And I just simply said, ‘Have those ever been released?’ And the question was, ‘Did he get in as a US citizen, or was he brought in to Harvard University as a citizen who wasn’t from this country?’ I don’t know the answer.”

When asked later by Rye where Lewanowski thinks Obama is from, he acknowledged the president is from Hawaii.

Reality

President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

Media

Trump says Cruz’s Canadian birth could be ‘very precarious’ for GOP

Trump again raised his crazy ‘birther’ flag when speaking to the Washington Post about Ted Cruz’s eligibility for the presidency.

“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” Trump said when asked about the topic. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”

Reality

The Constitution says the candidate must be 35 years of age and a resident of the United States for 14 years. The third qualification: He or she must be a “natural born citizen.”

The Congressional Research Service, the agency tasked with providing authoritative research to all members of Congress, published a report after the 2008 election supporting the thinking that “natural born” citizenship means citizenship held “at birth.”

Ted Cruz is eligible to be President of the United States of America.

Links

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-cruzs-canadian-birth-could-be-very-precarious-for-gop/2016/01/05/5ce69764-b3f8-11e5-9388-466021d971de_story.html?postshare=6591452034521111&tid=ss_tw-bottom

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/mar/26/ted-cruz-born-canada-eligible-run-president-update/http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42097.pdf

1 2