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Trump finally admits President Obama was born in the US

Trump has said repeatedly during the campaign that he no longer talks about the “birther” issue, but has nevertheless refused to retract his previous comments.

Updated 6pm

Donald Trump Source: Seth Wenig

DONALD TRUMP HAS, after five years, admitted that Barack Obama was born in the United States, and claimed credit for putting the issue to rest.

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” Trump said in brief televised remarks. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”

But as Trump sought to put that false conspiracy theory to rest, he stoked another, claiming that the “birther movement” was started by rival Hillary Clinton. There is no evidence that is true.

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it,” Trump said. “I finished it, you know what I mean.”

‘Ugly incident’

In a statement released late last night, campaign spokesman Jason Miller claimed Trump “did a great service to the country” by bringing closure to an “ugly incident” that Trump, in fact, fuelled.

“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,” Miller said.

“Mr Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure” to the issue, he added.

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.

Trump was, for many years, the most prominent proponent of the “birther” movement, which claimed Obama was born outside the US and thus ineligible to be president – despite the fact that he was born in Hawaii.

Trump’s comments were seen by many as an attempt to delegitimise the nation’s first black president and have turned off many of the African American voters he is now courting in his bid for the White House.

The statement came after an interview published by The Washington Post in which Trump again declined to say whether he believed Obama was born on US soil.

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

A fraud

In August 2012 – more than a year after the president released the document in April 2011 – Trump was pushing the issue on Twitter.

“An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud,” he wrote.

Trump has said repeatedly during the campaign that he no longer talks about the “birther” issue, but has refused to retract his previous comments, despite numerous opportunities. Instead, he has described the issue as an inconvenience.

“I don’t talk about it because if I talk about that, your whole thing will be about that,” he told reporters in his plane last week. “So I don’t talk about it.”

Obama had released a standard short form of his birth certificate before the 2008 presidential election. Anyone who wants a copy of the more detailed, long-form document must submit a waiver request, and have that request approved by Hawaii’s health department.

In 2011, amid persistent questions from Trump about his birthplace, Obama submitted a waiver request. He dispatched his personal lawyer to Hawaii to pick up copies and carry the documents back to Washington on a plane.

The form said Obama was born at 7:24pm on 4 August, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynaecological Hospital in Honolulu. It is signed by the delivery doctor, Obama’s mother and the local registrar.

On the day he released the document, Obama jabbed at Trump. “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” he said.

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Associated Press

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