After largely refusing to talk about the discredited conspiracy theory for years, Donald Trump is teasing a major announcement about whether he still publicly doubts President Barack Obama was born in the US.
During an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business on Friday, the Republican presidential nominee hinted that he would address his current views on the conspiracy theory during a speech at the opening of his hotel in Washington, DC, later Friday morning.
“We have to keep the suspense going, OK?” Trump said. “So you watch. You’re my friend. You watch the statement, OK? I think you’ll be happy.”
Trump’s campaign released a statement Thursday declaring that the Republican presidential candidate “believes that President Obama was born in the United States,” a departure from Trump’s previous doubts about the president’s birthplace.
In the statement, Trump campaign senior communications adviser Jason Miller gave Trump credit for “compelling” Obama to release his birth certificate in 2011, and claimed the document put Trump’s concerns to bed.
“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,” Miller said in the statement.
However, earlier Thursday, Trump was unwilling to say that Obama was born in the US. He has declined to do so numerous times during the campaign season.
“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”
The campaign statement also conflicts with several tweets Trump posted after April 27, 2011, the date Obama released his birth certificate, which showed he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. In the tweets, Trump cast doubt on the veracity of the document.
An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama‘s birth certificate is a fraud.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
Always remember, I was the one who got Obama to release his birth certificate, or whatever that was! Hilary couldn’t, McCain couldn’t.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2014
Wake Up America! See article: “Israeli Science: Obama Birth Certificate is a Fake” http://t.co/f7esUdSz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2012
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2012
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2013
Read the full Trump campaign statement:
“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.
“Mr. Trump is now totally focused on bringing jobs back to America, defeating radical Islamic terrorism, taking care of our veterans, introducing school choice opportunities and rebuilding and making our inner cities safe again.”