Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says President Barack Obama was indeed born in the United States, one day after refusing to say so during an interview and after several years of leading the so-called ‘birther movement’ which questioned Obama’s place of birth. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
Trump concedes Obama is American, blames Clinton for “birther” controversy
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Republican Donald Trump addressed President Barack Obama’s citizenship on Friday (September 16), a day after he refused in a newspaper interview to say whether he believed Obama was born in the United States.
“Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,” Trump said during a speech at a new hotel his company is opening in Washington D.C..
Trump several years ago led the so-called birther movement which questions whether Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, was actually born in the United States.
During his speech on Friday Trump accused his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton of being behind the “birther” movement when she ran against Obama in 2008.
After Trump’s newspaper interview his campaign released a statement later in the day saying the candidate is convinced of the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency. A U.S. president must be born in the country.
The issue has not been a major factor in the campaign for the Nov. 8 presidential election and by bringing it up again Trump took the focus of his campaign away from topics such as immigration, trade and the economy, which he has been using to hit Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump has recovered ground against Clinton in recent national opinion polls after revamping his campaign staff in August and taking steps to give a more polished performance on the campaign trail.
But the birther movement, which casts doubt over whether Obama is legally able to be president, incenses black Americans whose votes Trump has been trying to court.
A few years into his presidency, Obama, the first African American to win the White House, released a longer version of his birth certificate to answer those who suggested he was not U.S. born
Earlier on Friday his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton attacked Trump for his refusal to once again acknowledge Obama’s citizenship, saying that “he is feeding into the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country.”