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White House issues Obama birth cert in bid to end conspiracy claims

Donald Trump is “proud” as the long form of Barack Obama’s birth certificate is released, intending to prove he was born in the US.

Updated, 15.04

THE WHITE HOUSE has released the long form of US president Barack Obama’s birth certificate, hoping to finally quell persistent speculation that he may not have been born in the United States.

The certificate, released this afternoon, declares officially that Obama was born in Hawaii, making him eligible to hold the office of president.

Obama’s political opponents had speculated that the refusal of either Obama or the White House to issue a copy of the long-form birth certificate may have pointed to the fact that he was not, in fact, born in the United States – a fact which would otherwise rule him ineligible to hold the presidency.

Potential presidential candidate Donald Trump had recently begun to question why Obama had yet to issue a long-form copy of his birth certificate, positing that the failure to do so before now – in spite of years of suspicions over his background – hinted that Obama may have had something to hide.

The White House had earlier released a standard short form, but requested copies of his original birth certificate from officials in Honolulu earlier this week in hopes of finally burying the controversy.

In a press conference at the White House this afternoon, Obama said the country did “not have time for this kind of silliness”.

Obama’s communications director Dan Pfeiffer, meanwhile, wrote on the White House blog that he hoped the country could now move on from this “fake issue”, and denounced “carnival barkers” for casting doubt over his birthplace – though without mentioning Trump by name.

“The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country,” Pfeiffer wrote.

The Hawaii State Department of Health made an exception to its usual rules, he added, and did not ordinarily issue copies of long-form birth certificates – instead issuing a short-form copy certifying Obama’s identity and parents, but little else.

The long form edition had been issued “in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting”, Pfeiffer added.

The original shorter version had been released by Obama during his 2008 election campaign, when opponents suggested that he may have been born in either his father’s native Kenya, or in Indonesia where he spent many years as a child with his mother Stanley Ann Durham.

A poll published last week showed that a quarter of Americans believed Obama was born outside of the US, and was therefore not eligible to hold the country’s highest office.

In a hastily-arranged press conference, Trump said he felt “proud of myself, because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish,” but said the document would need to be examined to vouch that it was “real” – though he hoped it would be.

View a copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate >

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