The Hillary Clinton campaign released a statement on Friday blasting Donald Trump for holding a press conference to state he now believes President Barack Obama was, in fact, born in the United States.
“Trump’s actions today were disgraceful,” said Robby Mook, manager of the Clinton campaign. “After five years of pushing a racist conspiracy theory into the mainstream, it was appalling to watch Trump appoint himself the judge of whether the President of the United States is American.”
He continued: “This sickening display shows more than ever why Donald Trump is totally unfit be president.”
During the press conference, Trump also blamed the “birther” movement on Clinton, who is now the Democratic nominee for president.
While no one in Clinton’s 2008 campaign ever advanced any charge that Obama was born outside the US, the birther movement did have some roots in the 2008 Democratic primary. David Plouffe, then Obama’s campaign manager, said at the time that the Clinton campaign was guilty of “shameful offensive fear-mongering” by circulating a photo calling attention to Obama’s African heritage.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy,” Trump said Friday. “I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean.”
During the 2012 election cycle, Trump, who is now the Republican nominee for president repeatedly called on Obama to release his birth certificate to prove that he was born in the US. While there had been rumours circulating before 2011 about Obama’s birthplace, Trump is widely credited with bringing “birtherism” into the mainstream.
Trump demanded publicly for months that Obama release his longform birth certificate. As the issue gained more attention, Obama did eventually relent and release the document.
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