Donald Trump is the “King of the Birthers.” In April of 2011: “Self-proclaimed birther Donald Trump is now so doubtful of President Obama’s birthplace that he’s sent a team of his own investigators to Hawaii in hopes of getting to the bottom of the issue.” Trump sends investigators to Hawaii to look into Obama. Trump excitedly proclaimed My investigators in Hawaii can’t believe what they are finding. Trump’s “team of investigators” to this day has never produced anything.
Trump’s investigation ran parallel to Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio’s and Mike Zullo’s “cold case posse” investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate. Sheriff Joe Arpaio tasks ‘Cold Case Posse’ to investigate Obama’s birth certificate. Arpaio has not made many statements about the investigation since his last news conference on the issue in 2012. But five years later he is still milking this right-wing conspiracy theory. Arpaio says MCSO still investigating Obama (August 18, 2016).
This pair of asshats has never produced any evidence in support of their wild conspiracy theory.
Back in July, the New York Times published a report, Inside the Six Weeks Donald Trump Was a Nonstop ‘Birther’:
In the birther movement, Mr. Trump recognized an opportunity to connect with the electorate over an issue many considered taboo: the discomfort, in some quarters of American society, with the election of the nation’s first black president. He harnessed it for political gain, beginning his connection with the largely white Republican base that, in his 2016 campaign, helped clinch his party’s nomination.
And starting in March 2011, when he first began to test the idea that a reality television star with no political experience could mount a campaign for the presidency, Mr. Trump could not stop talking about it.
* * *
The more Mr. Trump questioned the legitimacy of Mr. Obama’s presidency, the better he performed in the early polls of the 2012 Republican field, springing from fifth place to a virtual tie for first.
That frenzied period culminated six weeks after it began in a surreal televised split screen between Mr. Trump and the White House briefing room, where aides released an image of the president’s birth certificate proving he was born in Honolulu and Mr. Obama directly addressed the issue.
President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April 2011 humiliated Donald Trump over his Birther conspiracy theory. President Obama Roasts Donald Trump At White House Correspondents’ Dinner – YouTube.
But Donald Trump never gave up on the Birther Movement, because that was his introduction to the Republican electorate and his base of support to run for president, as the Times noted above.
His campaign in 2016 was entirely premised on his support among the Birther Movement. In a fragmented field of up to 17 candidates at the start, their support could prove to be decisive for a win.
There is no way to know for certain how many of Trump’s primary votes came from Birthers, but we do have poll data to tell us how prevalent the Birther Movement is among Republicans.
As late as July 2016, just before the RNC National Convention, an NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll conducted in late June and early July found:
Seventy-two percent of registered Republican voters still doubt President Obama’s citizenship…
To see whether voters believe that Obama was not born in the United States, we asked them about their agreement with this statement: “Barack Obama was born in the United States.”
A first look reveals significant and surprising differences between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to their beliefs about Obama’s birthplace.
While more than eight in 10 Democrats agreed with the claim, far more Republicans disagreed with the statement (41 percent) than agreed with it (27 percent). An additional 31 percent of Republicans expressed some doubts about whether Obama is a native U.S. citizen (i.e. indicating that they neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement). Only slightly more than one in four Republican voters agreed that the president was born in the United States.
But do these beliefs hold true for all types of Republicans? Is skepticism about the president’s place of birth a consequence of a lack of interest in politics, or is this skepticism prevalent even among the most knowledgeable Republicans?
To probe this possibility, we asked respondents three factual questions about politics* and we compared the beliefs of those correctly answering at least two of the three questions to those who did not. The chart below shows that there are virtually no differences between low-knowledge and high-knowledge Republicans when it comes to their beliefs about Obama’s citizenship.
In fact, the distributions are statistically indistinguishable: 40 percent of knowledgeable Republicans disagree that Obama was born in the U.S. compared to 42 percent of lower knowledge Republicans. A greater factual understanding of the political system does not diminish Republicans’ doubts about Obama’s birthplace.
The fact that more Republicans currently think that the president was not born in the U.S. and that this belief does not depend on how knowledgeable they are about politics is surprising. The country may be divided about both facts and opinions. Moreover, given the persistence of these beliefs in the face of evidence to the contrary, not only are we likely to see more rumors emerge, but their effects may be long-lasting. The fact that so many Republicans believe that the president was not born in the United States despite evidence to the contrary suggests that in the partisan-charged environment, it may be very difficult to dispel rumors and outlandish claims regardless of wins on Election Day.
This is just “deplorable.” And these are the “deplorable” voters who gave Donald Trump the GOP nomination.
Even as late as last night, asked by the Washington Post’s Robert Costa whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii, Trump replied: “I’ll answer that question at the right time. I just don’t want to answer it yet.”
And then this morning Donald Trump abandoned his “deplorables” by pretending to distance himself from the Birther Movement that he has led as their king. Trump admits Obama was born in U.S., but falsely blames Clinton for starting rumors:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday acknowledged for the first time that President Obama was born in the United States, ending his long history of stoking unfounded doubts about the nation’s first African-American president but also seeking to falsely blame Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for starting the rumors.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean,” Trump said at his newly opened luxury hotel in Washington on Friday morning. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.”
This is not the first time that Trump has accused Clinton of first raising questions about Obama’s birthplace, an assertion that has been repeatedly disproved by fact-checkers who found no evidence that Clinton or her campaign questioned Obama’s birth certificate or his citizenship.
The Washington Post’s fact checker checks this recidivist liar. Recidivism Watch: Trump repeats debunked claim that Clinton ‘started the birther controversy’:
Let’s review this again: No, Clinton and her campaign did not start the “birther” controversy. We awarded Trump Four Pinocchios for this claim, and it has been debunked thoroughly over, and over, and over, and over again.
Moreover, Trump did not “finish” the birther controversy. He was one of the most high-profile birthers during President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
It was our friends at FactCheck.org — not Trump — who “finished” the birther controversy eight years ago. After looking at, holding, photographing and investigating Obama’s birth certificate, FactCheck.org published an August 2008 article debunking “birther” claims, titled: “Born in the U.S.A.: The truth about Obama’s birth certificate.”
As with all things Trump, he is lying and this is yet another con. He is simply saying what he thinks he has to say to get the media to report that he has reversed his Birther position, but with a wink and a nod to his “deplorable” Birther supporters. Trump May Be Abandoning ‘Birthers,’ but They’re Not Abandoning Him: “Birthers are OK with Donald Trump abandoning their cause, as long it helps him win the presidency — even if they still believe Obama was born in Kenya and don’t necessarily agree with his claim that Hillary Clinton started their movement.” Still “deplorable” and proud of it.