Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump finally admitted on Friday that President Obama is a legitimate citizen of the United States.
In a statement that lasted literally five sentences, the Republican candidate said that he was the one to “finish” the birther issue. Despite this claim, Trump in fact brought up this conspiracy theory many, many times after Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011, including in 2012, when Trump claimed that he received a call from an “extremely credible source” that Obama’s birth certificate is fake. Trump also raised doubts about the legitimacy of the birth certificate upon entering the race in June 2015 and again in January 2016.
Trump on Friday also accused Hillary Clinton of being the first person to raise questions about Obama’s birthplace. This is false. Although there is evidence that birtherism started with Clinton supporters during the 2008 Democratic primary, neither Clinton nor her campaign ever raised this issue themselves.
Over the past few weeks, when asked about birtherism by reporters, Trump simply dodged the question and said that he does not talk about it anymore. In an interview with The Washington Post on September 15th, Trump said that he will “answer that question at the right time” and that he doesn’t want to address it yet. He would go on to address it less than 24 hours later.
Here is Trump’s incredibly brief statement about Obama’s birthplace:
Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now, we all want to get back to making America strong and great again. Thank you.