New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued on Sunday that Donald Trump did not frequently question for years the validity of President Barack Obama’s US birthplace, though Trump peddled the discredited conspiracy theory claiming Obama was not born in Hawaii since Obama’s first term.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, days after Trump finally announced that he believed Obama was indeed born in the US, the governor insisted that it was “just not true” that the Republican presidential nominee fanned the flames of birtherism for years.
“The birther issues 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 said.
“It wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then,” he added, referring to Trump’s announcement on Friday. “And when the issue was raised, he made very clear the other day what his position is.”
Christie also pointed out that some of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign allies raised the conspiracy theory, though the Clinton campaign never officially weighed in on the issue itself.
In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Trump said for years that he was skeptical about Obama’s birthplace. He claimed he deployed private investigators to Hawaii who “could not believe what they’re finding” about Obama’s place of birth, though Trump never disclosed any other information about the supposed investigators.
And when Obama released his long-form birth certificate, the real-estate magnate questioned the document’s authenticity and suggested Obama release information from college and his passport.