2 of Donald Trump’s closest allies are splitting with him on the birther issue

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Mark Makela/Getty Images

Two of Donald Trump’s most prominent allies apparently don’t see eye to eye with him on the Republican nominee’s past beliefs about President Barack Obama’s birthplace.

On Wednesday afternoon, Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said Obama was born in Hawaii, as his birth certificate states.

Trump, after leading the so-called birther movement in 2011 and demanding that Obama release his birth certificate to prove he was born in the country, has not answered questions about his current beliefs in recent days.

“Well I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. I accept his birthplace,” Pence told reporters during a brief gaggle aboard his campaign plane before a San Diego fundraising event. “I just don’t know where he’s coming from on foreign policy and on economics and on Obamacare.”

Pence declined to say if Trump should apologise for his birthplace-based crusade suggesting Obama was born outside the country.

But top Trump surrogate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson went that extra mile.

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, the one-time 2016 Republican presidential hopeful said it would be smart for Trump to apologise for his birther comments.

“I think that would be a good idea, absolutely,” he said. “I suggest that on all sides. Let’s get all of the hate and rancor out of the way so that we can actually discuss the issues.”

Trump was asked about his birther comments by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday, Philadelphia’s WPVI TV in on Sunday, and by reporters aboard his plane over the weekend.

In each instance, Trump said he doesn’t “talk about it” anymore.

During his interview with O’Reilly, the Fox host asked if his poor numbers with nonwhite voters were connected to his repeated suggestions that Obama was not born in the US.

“Do you think your birther position has hurt you among African-Americans?” O’Reilly asked.

“I have no idea,” Trump responded. “I don’t talk about it anymore, Bill. Because, you know, I just don’t bother talking about it.”

He later insisted that O’Reilly was the “first person to bring it up in a while,” although he had been asked multiple times in recent days.

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